How to Deal with the End-of-the-the-Season-Tomatoes
Our tomatoes from our garden have already been touched by frost, so they are not looking so good. They are still edible, but at this point in the season, they are perhaps better eaten cooked, rather than raw.
The really gnarly ones, I sliced up and placed on a baking sheet to dry out under very low heat.
I used the better tomatoes to make a kickin' tomato sauce.
I found a recipe for fresh tomato sauce online
and then ran with it.*
*Me speak for I pretty much ignored the ingredients and the directions and made the recipe my own. So what else is new?**
**Please pretend that the basil in the picture is oregano.
After some long and hard dialog back and forth between me, myself and I,
I won out and decided that I couldn't stand the thought of blackened, chopped fresh basil interspersed in this lovely sauce. So, I opted to go with fresh oregano instead, which is actually, in my mind, at least, more authentic.
First, boil some water and then immerse about 10 tomatoes*** in the water for a few seconds so that the peels can soften. Then, after a quick dunk in cold water, it is an easy thing to rid the tomatoes of their skins.
Finally, chop them up and place them in a bowl. (***You want to end up with about 2 cups of chopped tomatoes) Set aside for later.
And now for the rest of the ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 large carrot, grated
1 large celery rib, minced
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
Kosher salt to taste
Brown sugar to taste - about 1/4 cup
1 Serrano pepper
First, saute the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for five minutes over medium-high heat with the olive oil until the veggies are beginning to sweat. Add a pinch of kosher salt to the mix.
Add the tomatoes, the Herbes de Provence, the bay leaf, and the wine. Add another pinch of kosher salt to the mix. Add about 1/2 cup water at this point. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for two hours.
Use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes during the cooking process.
No need to break out a blender or food processor today.
Add the tomato paste, the brown sugar and the Serrano pepper.
Towards the end of the cooking time, taste the sauce and adjust for seasoning.
Remove the bay leaf and portion the sauce between packages before freezing or serving.
This made enough for two 3 cup servings of tomato sauce.
This sauce is fresh, tangy, and delightfully and unabashedly fresh,
I can't wait to use it on my favorite pasta dish.