Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This Summer's Tomatoes

The abundance of tomatoes this summer from our share in the Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA has been of the hook; I'm bringing home upwards of 12-14 pounds a week! This Sunday I picked up 10 pounds of gorgeous, multi-hued heirloom tomatoes alone, and 2 pounds of fat, juicy cherry tomatoes. That's a lot of tomatoes, and there's only so much insalata caprese you can make. So with any of the red tomatoes, I try to make as much tomato sauce as possible. It's so far superior to any other red sauce I make during the rest of the year, and I freeze as much as I can. Fresh tomatoes make a much brighter, orangey-red sauce than canned tomatoes do, and being able to tear fresh, in-season basil from the farm into the sauce makes it even better. My recipe is pretty simple: tomatoes, garlic, basil and shallots from Honey Brook, olive oil, salt and and pepper.

It was printed in today's
Trenton Times Food section, after I wrote food editor Susan Sprague Yeske last week when she penned a column extolling the virtues and high quality of this year's Jersey tomato crop and then ran a recipe for tomato sauce using canned tomatoes!

This should be the easiest tomato sauce recipe you'll ever need for fresh summer tomatoes:

My Summer Tomato Sauce

8 lbs really ripe red tomatoes, cored and chopped
6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1 medium shallot, minced
40 fresh basil leaves, torn into small shreds
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large stew pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic and shallots. Cook until garlic just begins to turn golden, stirring often. Add tomatoes and stir to incorporate. Add some salt and pepper. Cook over medium to high heat, until mixture reduces by 1/3 to 1/2, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from heat. Using a potato masher or stick blender, mash the tomato mixture to desired smoothness for the sauce. Return pot to heat and bring sauce to a simmering boil. Add torn basil leaves and stir. Cook sauce for another 30 minutes at a simmer, or desired thickness.

Now THAT is a sauce that uses fresh local Jersey tomatoes!

No comments: