A Bitten Word Recipe
As you've no doubt read in countless places, there's a tomato shortage in this area, due to Paula Abdul leaving American Idol, or something like that.
Though we're definitely seeing fewer tomatoes this year in our CSA share and at our local farmers market, we haven't exactly been tomato-less. Last week, for instance, we got six pounds of tomatoes in our share (though we had opted for a double share that week).
Because we were going out of town, we knew we couldn't get through all six pounds in a week. But we knew exactly what we'd do with them.
Last year, when we weren't canning tomatoes and had them (literally) running all over our kitchen, we had a lot of tomatoes every week from the farm. In weeks that we couldn't use them all, we started making a slow roasted tomato sauce and then freezing that sauce. It's really easy and the delicious sauce, pulled from the freezer, is a quick way to a fantastic meal throughout the rest of the year.
There are no hard and fast rules when making this tomato sauce. In the proportions below, we've structured the recipe around one pound of tomatoes. That amount is arbitrary. Use whatever amount of tomatoes you have on hand, add more/fewer onions and garlic than we've specified. If you have oregano, throw it in! For some reason, ours isn't growing this year, so we left it out here.
It's all about your tastes. The beauty of this sauce is that it freezes well -- in freezer bags, in ice-cube trays or in muffin tins. Whatever you think will work best for you when you want to thaw it later. If we're using freezer bags, we like to fill them and then lay them flat on a baking sheet in the freezer until they harden. That way, they're easier to stack.
Then, weeks or months later, you can pull the sauce out, thaw it, and further adjust the flavor to suit whatever purpose you have in mind.
Easy Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce
1 pound fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cloves smashed garlic
5 thyme sprigs
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Halve small tomatoes. Quarter large tomatoes. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Scatter sliced onions over the pan. Nestle the thyme springs among the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how cooked you would like your tomatoes.
Remove pan from oven. Discard thyme sprigs. Allow tomatoes to cool slightly. Using a blender, food processor or food mill, blend the tomatoes until they liquified (as chunky or as smooth as you would prefer).
If using sauce immediately, enjoy! If freezing, allow the sauce to cool, transfer to freezer bags and freeze.