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Do You Still Have Tomatoes?

October 2, 2009

roasted tomato pizza sauce

We do.

Not for long, I know. It’s October now, fall for real. Even here in Oregon, the first frost is likely only a couple of weeks away.

But the tomatoes are soldiering on, and I’m taking advantage of their vivacity by roasting and freezing as many of them as I can get my hands on. Late season tomatoes are cheap and taste just as delicious as they did back in July. I know that we’re all excited to move on to winter squash and cranberries – I’ve been daydreaming often of sumptuous Thanksgiving spreads of pumpkin pie and roasted garlic mashed potatoes – but we’ll miss the tomatoes soon enough. Let’s not rush them out the wintry door.

So in honor of those last beautiful fruits, here are two more recipes using my favorite food of this season, roasted tomatoes. (If you haven’t yet made my inaugural roasted tomato dish, please do so immediately.) Both are sauces and begin similarly. For simplicity’s sake, I’m calling one “pizza sauce” and the other “salsa,” but both have a great versatility within their respective categories (Italian and Southwestern.) Slather them on anything you like, or freeze them for a brilliant taste of summer when winter finally, truly, comes around.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
Do try this on pizza. The oily, concentrated goodness of the tomatoes combines so beautifully with the melted mozzarella cheese. There’s nothing like it.

3 lbs. fresh tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup red wine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Quarter the tomatoes and toss them and the garlic cloves with the oil, basil, oregano, salt, and a good healthy grind of black pepper.

2. Spread the tomatoes, juicy parts up, on a pan. Roast in the oven for about four hours, until shriveled and beginning to brown, but still a bit juicy.

3. In a blender (or with an immersion blender), combine tomatoes and wine and blend until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Lime
My favorite way to use this is to spread it on a burrito before I add the fillings. Great in quesadillas, too.

3 lbs. fresh tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
The juice of two limes
3 tablespoons oil of your choice
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Quarter the tomatoes and toss them and the garlic cloves with oil, chile powder, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.

2. Spread the tomatoes, juicy parts up, on a pan. Roast in the oven for about four hours, until shriveled and beginning to brown, but still a bit juicy.

3. In a blender (or with an immersion blender), combine tomatoes and lime juice and blend until smooth. Taste for salt and lime and adjust if necessary.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 2:04 am

    I read this last last fall and have been waiting for tomato season ever since. Took the kids to Sauvie Island yesterday and came home with armloads of tomatoes. The oven is preheated… let the slow roasting begin! :)

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