Sunday, August 22, 2010

Last of the Heirloom Tomatoes

Yea...I finally pulled them.  It was time.  We were in Colorado for 5 days and when we got back, it was clear to me that the heirlooms were done.  So I went to the garden with bucket in hand and collected all the ripe and half-ripe tomatoes off the vines. question...what to do with them?  Well, my first thought was (obviously) tomato sauce.  So this afternoon, that's what I did...I made a killer tomato sauce. Since most of the tomatoes I picked, Kellogg Breakfast Beefsteak and Hillbilly Potato Leaf and some Rutgers Red, are yellow/orange, this sauce has a very unusual color.  But it's still delicious!

It's a pretty easy, basic recipe.

Easy Tomato Sauce
A bucket of garden tomatoes, seeded and cut into quarters or big chunks (I usually set the cut up tomatoes in a large colander in the sink for about 30 minutes.  This allows a lot of the liquid to drain off.)
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 small onion (from my garden), thinly sliced
Handful of fresh basil (again...from my patio plants :)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
S & P to taste

Pour oil in a large skillet, add the garlic and onion and slowly heat to medium.  Cook gently until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and basil, stir gently and cook on medium to low heat for about 30 - 40 minutes.  Remove from heat. 

 (As an aside, I don't peel the tomatoes when I clean them up and seed them...too much work and I lose too much fruit.  But as the tomatoes cook, the peels slip right off the meat, making them very easy to remove once the mixture has cooled and before it goes in the food processor). 

Once cooled, remove the peels and puree in batches in the food processor.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  I often add more fresh basil at this time.  Use sauce any way you like.  It also freezes well.  I used half of this batch to make eggplant rolatini...more on that later!

Buon appetito!

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