Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recipe for a Cold July

If you've had just about all the cold, windy, foggy weather you can bear out here in the foglands of San Francisco, here's what to do:
1. Go over to Rainbow Grocery and buy 5 lbs. of Early Girl tomatoes ($2.49/lb.)
2. Make Georgeanne Brennan's recipe for roasted tomato sauce and fill your home with the smell of thick, summery tomatoes.
3. Pretend you are in the Central Valley, next to a Hunt's tomato factory. (I used to live in Davis, where the Hunt's plant made tomato sauce in the summer and the whole town was filled with the hot, thick, sweet smell of simmering tomatoes. That factory isn't there any more.)

Since I can (almost) never make a recipe without tinkering with it, here's my adaptation of her roasted tomato sauce recipe. If it sounds good to you, check out her version and a couple of other recipes for using summer tomatoes. (It's always entertaining to read the comments. People have strong opinions about tomato sauce.)

Roasted Tomato Sauce (adapted from Georgeanne Brennan)
5 lbs. Early Girl tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 thyme sprigs
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the whole tomatoes in a roasting pan. Sprinkle them with the garlic, thyme, rosemary, coriander, and fennel. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Roast until the tomatoes are collapsing, about 45 minutes. Heat the 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and saute the shallots until soft. Add the tomato mixture and the white wine. Bring to a low simmer and cook until the tomatoes are thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Then put through a food mill to remove skins and seeds (or puree and strain). Add salt and pepper to taste.
This made about 5 cups. I froze two freezer bags with portions for 1 lb. of pasta, and am using the last cup fresh.

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