Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tomatoes Taking Over

When life gives you tomatoes, make sauce!

One of the popular spots at Jungle Jim's International Market is the reduced section. There is a goldmine of produce and other culinary treasures that are priced right for immediate use. If you happen upon the Grainger tomatoes from Tennessee, grab them, hurry home and make a fresh, vibrant tomato sauce. Homemade tomato sauce is simple and sublime and transforms a bowl of pasta into a lovely meal. Add grilled, spicy Italian sausage for heartier fare. This sauce will work well using an over abundance of ripe garden tomatoes you may be pondering how to use. It's best used right away - freezing it will make it watery when thawed.

If you haven't made a fresh sauce before, there is a bit of preparation you must do before making the sauce. First, you'll need to peel the tomatoes. Get a large pot of water boiling and then score an X on the bottom of the tomato. You can cut about a 1/4-inch deep X.

Next plunge the tomatoes in boiling water and submerge them for about 1 minute. Remove the tomatoes with a large slotted spoon or a pair of tongs.

With the side of a knife, you can peel the skin right down the edge of the tomato. It will easily peel off. Remove the skin, take out the core and chop. By the way, this same technique works for peeling peaches.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

2½ pounds fresh tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Peel tomatoes by scoring the skin of each tomato with a sharp knife (do not cut too deep). Drop scored tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and boil for approximately 1 minute. Remove tomatoes and plunge into cold water. Peel and dice tomatoes and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add onion and sauté 1-2 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook 5-8 minutes, until thickened. Add chopped parsley, basil, salt and pepper.

Makes approximately 3 cups 

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