Farming & gardening Recipes Veggie matters

Time to Harvest — Part 3: Simple Tomato Sauce

Photo for use on ONLY. All other uses and copying prohibited. ©2015/Jerry Redfern

Welcome! If you’re just coming aboard now, I’ve been doing a three-part series on end-of-summer harvest recipes. This is the third installment, and perhaps the easiest. But it’s my annual staple. It’s the one item I aim to make every late summer because, come January, nothing rivals the summery freshness locked into a simple garden harvest sauce.

Photo for use on ONLY. All other uses and copying prohibited. ©2015/Jerry Redfern

We planted six or seven varieties of tomatoes this summer in all shapes, colors and sizes. They’re still coming. Some are super-sweet, others are prettier than they are flavorful. I took a big bowl of them all (my bad: I didn’t measure; probably, roughly, 16 cups?). The point is: you want as many summer sweet tomatoes as you can find. More will never hurt you, in this recipe.

Now, before we begin, remember two things about this sauce: 1) It’s quick and easy to make, and that’s the key. This isn’t your simmer-for-hours sauce that eats into your entire weekend. This is your get-those-tomatoes-processed-now sauce, which still tastes great whenever you open the jar. 2) This is not meant to be a thick, hearty spaghetti-style sauce. This is a BASE sauce aimed at bringing summer flavor to your winter meals. Use it in tomato-based soups, stews, pasta dishes or whatever you want. It will be thin in consistency, but big in flavor.

Photo for use on ONLY. All other uses and copying prohibited. ©2015/Jerry Redfern

Take all your cleaned tomatoes and put them in a food processor. Purée. Set aside.

Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan and sauté a thinly sliced red onion (or 2 or 3, depending on size and the number of tomatoes you have and your liking of onion). When the onion is nicely browned but not burnt or bitter, add a few minced garlic cloves. Stir and remove soon from the heat. Do not burn the garlic or it will turn bitter. You want no bitterness in this sauce.

Photo for use on ONLY. All other uses and copying prohibited. ©2015/Jerry Redfern

Mix together the tomatoes, garlic and onion. Add salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Heat on the stovetop until the sauce just begins to simmer for a minute or two at most. Control the heat. Remove. That’s it. Use immediately, freeze or can. If you choose the latter, try this in winter when all thoughts of summer are far away. As I said, the sauce will be thin; mix with whatever other ingredients you prefer. But the tomato-ey flavor should take you right back to the garden in September.

2 replies on “Time to Harvest — Part 3: Simple Tomato Sauce”

Yup, I do similar and love that vitamin rich skins are used. Yummy in winter meals. Your photos are fantastic.

Thanks, Doña! Photo credit goes to Jerry. And I know what you mean about skins, which hold some of the most nutrition. I have never had a problem with bitterness when using fresh garden tomatoes, which are super sweet. And when I blend the tomatoes in a Vitamix, everything turns smooth, skins and all.

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