September 6, 2016

Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

Okay, I did end up making some of this extra delicious tomato sauce last week, and I even took a few pictures! A cooking blog this is not, but everything looks better with some illustrations, right?

In case you missed the earlier link, I used this recipe from Our Best Bites.
If you click on the link, they've got the printable step-by-step recipe & instructions.

We had all of these tomatoes to use up, plus the 2 bowls-full of the same size from last week.
[These are the rest of the onions. I probably should have pulled them all up a few weeks ago, as some of them were getting eaten by bugs, or something.]

My little 4-year old was my best helper, as big brother and sister were in school.
He especially loved using the kitchen scale to weigh everything.
(The recipe calls for 2 lbs. of tomatoes, but he decided all of the vegetables had to be weighed!)

I have found that this recipe is pretty forgiving.
You blend everything up at the end anyway, so you can totally sneak in some other veggies!
In addition to our tomatoes, both cherry tomatoes and regular, I had 2 yellow squashes that needed to be used up, so I cut up one per batch. My smaller garden onions were perfect--I probably put in 2-3 per pan, and we used up 4-5 of our smaller garden carrots per pan, as well.
After you prep everything: wash, stem, peel, etc., then you just chop everything up, into roughly the same size pieces.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper (as per the recipe), and put it in!

Here's the first pan, all ready to go in oven.
Pretty, isn't it?

 Our top oven is a convection oven.

This was in the convection oven, on 285 degrees F for about 2 1/2 hours.
It's a bit overdone.
The tomatoes are more like dried tomatoes, and you can see the one corner is quite brown and crispy.
That's okay, though! They have great flavor and will go in the blender, anyway.
I did pull out the ones that were completely brown and crunchy, first.

This pan was in the lower oven on 300 degrees F (no convection) for about 2 hours.
This is more what you want.
You can see it's a lot juicier-looking than the first pan.

I combined the entire contents of both pans in my food processor.

I also added 1 cup of beef broth, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp of minced garlic (from a bottle), and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Blended it all up.
I did not add any herbs or spices, beyond the salt & pepper prior to baking.
I will add those depending on what I use it for.
It was so delicious, I could eat it with a spoon.
Seriously. Yum!

From this double batch, I ended up with around 6 cups of sauce.
I divided them into 2 quart-size freezer bags, let them cool completely, then put them in the freezer.

This makes wonderful spaghetti or pizza sauce, and it's also really good as a tomato-basil soup, if you add in some cream or milk on the stovetop, and some basil.

As far as using your harvest, this project is comparatively easy and very satisfying.
Basically, the main work is chopping things up.
I hope I'll get enough tomatoes to make at least one more batch before frost!

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