Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tomato Time

We've had a bountiful tomato harvest so far this season. 

I grew 3 kinds this year - some nice little plum tomatoes, some Big Boys, and some fab Sun Gold cherry tomatoes.  We throw those babies in everything - cold pasta salads, hot pasta dishes, sauces, salads, etc.  I've made some salsa, and margherita pizza, and the other night, some freezer tomato sauce. 

I used a combo of the tomatoes we had on hand (which is why my sauce looks kind of orange, since I threw in a ton of those fab little orange Sun Golds), and ran my immersion blender quickly through a bowl of chopped up tomatoes (seeds, skin, everything - I just washed them off first).  Honestly, I could have just squished them with my hands and skipped the blender, but I love that thing. 

Then I sauteed diced onion and minced garlic in basil-infused olive oil, added the tomatoes, splashed in some balsamic vinegar, and cooked down until some of the liquid evaporated.  I seasoned with some salt & pepper, and then ran it all through my handy food mill to get rid of the seeds and the pesky bits of skin that didn't break down.  When the sauce cooled, I put it in some freezer containers, with some space for expansion, labeled, and tossed in the freezer. 

I'm not good with quantifying amounts when I cook - I just throw things in until it looks and tastes right, so the amounts from this recipe for Freezer Tomato Sauce from the "American Profile" insert in the newspaper this week will give you some guidance.  I didn't add in the fresh basil, because it was dark and the creatures of the night usually freak me out in the garden at night (and those stupid Japanese Beetles have been gettin' busy on the basil all summer), but that's certainly a great addition.

16 medium-large ripe, but firm heirloom tomatoes
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, torn
6-8 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 tbsp. white balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper

For the rest of the instructions, click here.  I was lazy and didn't go through all of those steps.

P.S. -- here's a little tomato storage hint from the lovely people at Cooks Illustrated - so simple!   And a few more recipes and info on the health benefits of tomatoes that came through my inbox: "Take Advantage of Tomatoes"

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