Saturday, October 27, 2012

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Sauce


It's that time of year again, when all of the tomatoes from the summer need to be used up. Here is California that happens in October; for the rest of the nation it might be a bit earlier so you might have to save this recipe for next year. But I am always on the look out for ways to preserve that home-grown tomato deliciousness and love how this turned out.

I was inspired by Spring Warren's book The Quarter Acre Farm, and her description of how she roasted and preserved her tomatoes.

First, the tomatoes.

I found "seconds" tomatoes at a nearby farm....you can tell they are the leftovers below by their bruises.



I wash, core and quarter them.


The other ingredient I took photos of was garlic...I used about 10 cloves. I didn't mince them, just left them whole.


I also chopped up an eggplant, roughly chopped up a couple of onions, and then added 5 cut carrots. The sweetness of the carrots is there to counteract against the acidity of the tomatoes. (At this point I was in cooking mode and forgot to take photos.)

It all went into my large roasting pan.


This lovely mixture went into the oven which had been preheated to 475 degrees.

After a half hour, I gave it a stir.

It looked like this:




Another half hour and another stir...



Again....




....and once more.


And I must say that my house smelled divine.

After about 2 1/2 hours it looked like glop, which is what Spring Warren said was the desired result. At this point, I turned off the oven and let it sit in the pan overnight.

The next morning, I got out the rest of my ingredients.

Olive oil, and fresh basil.



Into each batch in my blender went some of the tomato mixture, a handful of basil, a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and about 3/4 cup water.



I was going for a pretty saucy mixture, so I blended until I saw this.


At this point you can make it what you want. For a more runny sauce you would add more water, for a thicker sauce not as much.

It was pretty thick stuff...this smelled so good I almost boiled up some pasta right then just to sample some.


I made enough to fill 6 pint-sized jars.



These went into the freezer.


There was about a half a cup of it that wouldn't fit, so we heated it up and dipped crackers in it. It actually reminded me of bruschetta, which made me think that I could have just pulsed the blender and made it either a chunky pasta sauce or a dip for crackers or french bread. Yum.

And that's what I love about this recipe...the medley of things you could make from it. It is all up to the imagination and inspiration of the cook.


Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Sauce

Ingredients:

10 pounds ripe tomatoes, washed and quartered
1 eggplant, sliced and roughly chopped
2 large onions, roughly chopped
5 carrots, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
10 cloves of peeled garlic
Olive oil
Fresh basil

Instructions:

Prepare vegetables while oven preheats to 475 degrees. Place into a large roasting pan and put in oven. Check and stir every half hour, until mixture is very soft and soggy. (This will take 2-4 hours.) Turn off oven and leave mixture inside overnight or for 8 hours. Place 2-3 cups of tomato mixture, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 cup fresh basil, and 3/4 to 1 cup water in blender. Blend until desired consistency. Freeze in jars, Ziploc bags, or eat for dinner that night with Italian Sausage and pasta. 

4 comments:

  1. Charlotte, this looks sooooo good! I can hardly wait for next year's tomatoes!

    Nancy :-)

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  2. P.S. I think I might have roasted some garlic along with the veggies and still used some fresh garlic when blending the mix. I like the two different flavors of roasted and fresh garlic.

    --Nancy

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  3. This is so impressive!!

    Love you!
    me

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  4. Nancy, I totally agree with you. I love the roasted flavor, but giving that added punch of fresh garlic would be perfect. Great idea!

    Love you too, Kate!

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