With the grocery stores still full of tomatoes (at least in California), I’m sneaking in a post about a yummy roasted tomato sauce you can make from that last batch of home-grown or store-bought round red fruit we all love. Now that the temperature outside is cooling down, turn on your oven and try this technique. Roasted tomato sauce yields big flavor without much work. Always a winning combination in my kitchen.
I started with a recipe from Delish magazine that comes in my newspaper every few weeks. Here is the basic formula (http://bit.ly/9nLWTU):
2 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored (they don’t have to be heirloom)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sliced shallots
6 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to mix well. Transfer to a roasting pan.
3. Roast 1 hour, until tomatoes are blackened.
4. Transfer to a food processor. Process until well blended. Makes about 5 cups.
Here are some of the variations I have made to the recipe.
1. Forget the “mix it all in a large bowl step” – put the ingredients in your roasting pan of choice and mix it all together there. No need to dirty the bowl.
2. The olive oil and balsamic vinegar make it wonderful – so don’t change those two items.
3. If you don’t have shallots, use some white, yellow, or red onion – just use a little less because shallots are milder.
4. No fresh herbs around? Use dried in whatever assortment you’d like.
5. Did you just roast some vegetables and have roasted red peppers around? – put some of them in when you put it all in the blender.
6. Like it a little spicy? Add some crushed red pepper flakes in the roasting stage or blending stage.
7. Want to make it a meat sauce? – saute your favorite spaghetti sauce meat and add the blended sauce to it before you put it over pasta.
The first time I made this, I created a delicious meatless meal by serving this sauce over pasta with some tasty roasted vegetables and my vegetarian cousin was so very happy. She doesn’t even like to cook, except to warm up her purchases from the Whole Foods prepared food counter. But she took a copy of the recipe home with her to Florida and really did prepare the sauce all by herself.
One other consideration – as with any cooking, it’s all about the ingredients. If your tomatoes are not the tastiest ones in the market, make up for it with the balsamic and olive oil or the herbs that you use. This sauce may taste a little different each time you prepare it. That’s part of the fun. But to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with this technique. And it will please kids and adults.
A few more ideas of what to do with your last batch of tomatoes:
In this tomato blog post by Stephanie Morimoto, she ordered the recipes by “yum yield” relative to input of time and effort – you got to love that!
This roasted tomato soup recipe was recommended to me by my friend Renee who is an accomplished cook and baker. She said this recipe is delicious and easy.
Hope you enjoy these recipes and the last few days of tomato time. If you have any other yummy roasted tomato recipes, please share by leaving a comment below. Your suggested variations for my roasted vegetable post were excellent! Keep the ideas coming.