It's almost tomato time... So far, we've gotten a dozen here and there from our CSA, but soon we'll be getting tons and tons and tons of tomatoes. So I thought it was time to dig out this recipe again...
My family doesn't eat a lot of tomatoes. I'm not a super-fan myself, but I can handle them in salads and on sandwiches. The rest of my family pretty much only consumes tomatoes when they're deep inside an egg frittata and overpowered by cheddar cheese and sausage, or when they're on a BLT. So you can imagine how worried I was when we started receiving bushels of tomatoes week after week from our CSA last summer. I knew I'd have to come up with a plan quick so that they wouldn't go to waste.
I hopped on Pinterest and found an "easy" recipe for tomato sauce that turned out to be not my kind of easy. I spend an entire day boiling, ice-bathing, and skinning tomatoes... The sauce turned out well, but at the end of the day my kitchen was a wreck, my kids had been totally ignored for 8 hours, and I had a very. short. fuse.
Blessedly, the social network came to my rescue. Charlotte witnessed my fiasco via Instagram, contacted me via email, and sent me a recipe from another blog. Bam. Problem solved. Thank you, Charlotte! Had you not sent Elizabeth's recipe, I might have drown myself, along with my sorrows, in the vegetable juices covering my kitchen counters, cupboards, and floors.
I tweaked the recipe and added a few "extras" but it's still super easy and very delicious. Click on over to In the Heart of My Home for the original recipe, and then you can check back here to see what I did a little differently :)
When roasting my tomatoes, I added some chopped onion and omitted the olive oil. I actually forgot the oil one time and liked the results, so after that I just left it out so that this would be sauce with no fat besides the negligible amount found in tomatoes.
I used my heavy duty Ninja blender to blend up the tomatoes, juices, onions, garlic, and basil. I also added other fresh herbs from our garden - parsley, thyme, and oregano, as well as fresh-squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper.
For the sauce that I was planning to keep in the fridge to use right away, I whisked in a few shakes of xanthan gum to thicken it up. For the sauce that I bagged for the freezer, I left out the xanthan gum, and I added it when I defrosted and heated the sauce.
I ended up freezing enough sauce last summer that it almost lasted us all year, but not quite. I wasn't sure if my kiddos would love it, but it turns out they did. They don't even mind the seeds one bit. If you think the seeds are going to be a major problem with your family, you might consider using a food mill to process it as opposed to a blender. The blender is so quick (and relatively clean, compared to a food mill), it's my first choice for this sauce :)
So what are you doing with your tomatoes this year??