Tomato Time

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 (


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.

Tomatoes all ready to roast in the oven

3. Roast 1 hour, until tomatoes are blackened.

After roasting - caramelized and ready to blend

4. Transfer to a food processor. Process until well blended. Makes about 5 cups.

in the blender -- notice how light the color becomes

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.

Ready to serve...

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.

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9 Responses to Tomato Time

  1. Ullrich Fichtner October 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Juicy, aromatic, great! Stay on these roads! From a European, non-Californian perspective, I envy you. Here at my place, tomato-time is over. Fall is coming in… Thanks for sharing! A very Mediterranean approach! Stick to it!

  2. Wendy (The Local Cook) October 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Oh oh oh, I so wish I had had this last week! We just had our first frost. I’m looking forward to getting to know your blog more through the SITS tribe!

  3. Diane October 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    I love, love, love the colored pictures. Really makes the recipe come alive.

  4. dormant-chef October 6, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    Or for a change, you can heat some sauce in a small saucepan (enough for two servings) and when bubbly, crack an egg into it. Stir for a couple of minutes until the sauce lightens and serve immediately over your choice of pasta.

  5. Jessica Maher October 6, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Hey visiting from Sits group. Your blog is great and so pretty and clean. I love it!2 Hope you have a great day!
    XOXO Jessica

    Oh and if you get a chance come by and support Breast Cancer at Kitchen Belleicious and win a pink prize baking package in the process!


  6. Christina October 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    This looks so good! Unfortunately my tomatoes didn’t make it this year so I have to wait until next year to grow some more!

  7. Stephanie M at Together In Food October 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Beth, Thanks for the shout-out! I actually used the first of my water-canned tomatoes yesterday when I made fish tagine for dinner.


  1. My Feature Day on! « OMG! Yummy - March 1, 2012

    […] Tomato Time […]

  2. Five Easy Meal Ideas to Break Out of your Mid-Week Slump! « OMG! Yummy - March 14, 2012

    […] 5. Roasted Tomato Sauce – wonderful even when it’s not tomato season – put it over pasta and I guarantee you and your kids will be licking the bowl! […]

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Beth Lee

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