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Old 10-12-2006, 12:34 PM   #1
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Here's a way to use up lots of tomatoes from your garden

Yesterday Alix said her garden was exploding with end-of-the-season tomatoes. Here's what I do with my tomatoes. Last year I made tons of pints of this sauce and used it instead of commercially canned tomato sauce in my recipes. It's really good and, if your garden is producing a lot of basil, all the better.

I normally raise Roma tomatoes, but I've made the recipe using the same amount of non-Romas and it turned out just as good.

(Makes about 3 cups)

5Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 lbs. Roma or plum tomatoes, cut
lengthwise in halves
Salt and freshly ground black
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into
thin ribbons

Generously brush a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Season the cut sides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, on the baking sheet. The skins will come off much easier if you slice off the stem end. Brush the skins with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake in a preheated 450º oven until the tomato skins are lightly browned and the tomatoes are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Keep and eye on the tomatoes to be sure they don't get too brown. The operative word here is lightly. Cool completely. Pinch the skins off the tomatoes and discard.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic and red pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until the garlic has softened but has not browned, about 2 minutes. (I tend to go easy on the red pepper.) Puree the tomatoes and garlic oil in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Process until the basil is uniformly distributed through the sauce. Note: The sauce can be prepared up to 3 days ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated or frozen for up to 2 months. It can also be canned using a water-bath. Fill clean sterilized jars, leaving ½-inch head space. Process pints for 15 minutes.

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Old 10-12-2006, 01:38 PM   #2
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YUMMY RECIPE!!!! And simple, too.

Roasted tomato sauce is soooooo delicious.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:15 PM   #3
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I discovered that technique this summer, too. So much easier than trying to simmer down a big pot of tomatoes.

A couple differences--I added chopped celery and onions and whole garlic cloves (peeled) to the halved tomatoes. I baked all the veggies on the sheet at the same time--I did 400 for an hour.

I also left the tomato skins on--the food processor or stick blender makes them disappear, and I figure I need the fiber.
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:20 PM   #4
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Hmmmm...well now I don't know what to do. Tomato sauce or tomato soup. Going to check to see if I have enough to do both.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:42 PM   #5
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This looks great. I have copied and pasted to my files.

Also, if you have a bunch of green tomatoes, like I have, you don't have to ripen them all on the window shelves. The green tomatoes are great in Salsa Verde, or fried into seasoned Tex/Mex mixtures. They make great pickles, and are pretty good, if still crunchy, with roast beef, sliced thin for sandwiches. I would add them to guacamole instead of lime or lemon, for a change of pace. They are fairly acidic and have substantially more flavor than the store-puchased red tomatoes.

I'd never tried using green tomatoes before and was suprized by how versatile they are.

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