Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Harvest Day

We picked these from our backyard.

I had this for lunch.

And made this for later.  For when I want to remember exactly what today tasted like.

Roasted Summer Tomato Sauce

Based on a recipe from Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton Cook at Home, a must-have cookbook which seems to be out of print at the moment.

2 lbs. or so ripe summer tomatoes
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. fresh thyme
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 6oz. can tomato paste
2-3 tsp. brown sugar, to taste

Pre heat oven to 300.  Cut tomatoes in half, and remove stems. Combine olive oil, garlic, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Add tomatoes and stir gently to coat completely.

Place tomatoes, cut side down, on a shallow baking sheet.

Roast for 35-45 minutes, until tops have shriveled and bottoms are slightly caramelized.   Cool.

At this point, you can just serve these as a side dish, put them on toast with a smear of pesto sauce, chop and add to hot pasta, put on pizza, eat them...the list goes on.   But at least once, I recommend you keep going.

Place tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor and puree for several minutes until smooth.    Take a taste.   It will be pretty darn delicious, but wait!  There's more.

Get out a medium pot.  Add the tomato puree, the tomato paste, and a spoonful or two of brown sugar.  Heat over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes.   Now taste it again.   I told you, I told you, I told you!  SO GOOD!!!

When it's just right, remove from heat.  Strain the sauce to remove any seeds, herb bits and skin that remains.  

Store, covered, in the fridge for a week or in the freezer until the tomato plants have all died and gone away.   Use as a base for pizza or pasta. Stir into risotto, add to a soup, spread it on bread...you name it, you've now got summer in a spoon anytime you want.  

Onion variation:   Add one sweet onion, peeled and cut into wedges, to the olive oil mixture with the tomatoes.    This version is DELISH!

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