Thursday, September 10, 2015

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Garlic Sauce

            This recipe is the epitome of farm to table.  Fresh and made with local ingredients, it really is a crowd pleaser.  I love cooking with the ingredients of the season, and I am holding onto tomatoes as long as I can before winter steals the good ones away.  I picture this sauce over fresh vegetables and chicken, almost like a Primavera (sands the pasta) or over a big fat juice meatball right from the oven.   Make this the same day you plan to have guests over, because the smell is intoxicating while the tomatoes and garlic roasts.  The smell permeates the whole house,   and makes everyone’s mouth salivate.

                These tomatoes are actually handpicked---by me.  My Aunt Diane always gives me her CSA when she goes away.  The last two weeks has required me to “u-pick own cherry tomatoes”.  This meant I had to be out in the middle of tomato field at 5:00pm in the 90 degree weather, picking tomatoes in my work pants and sandals.  I am so glad I got my ass out there and did it, because the beautiful result was this spicy and sweet sauce.
                The spiciness comes from the red chili tomato paste and red pepper flakes, the sweetness comes from the roasted garlic.  Did you know that?  If you roast tomato just right for just long enough it will become sweet.  It’s divine. 
                I am freezing this, because I don’t need it right now but didn’t want my tomatoes to go bad.  When I reheat it I may add a touch of milk, and chopped fresh basil leaves.  If it’s too thick, add a little chicken stock.

                And…It’s okay that it’s bright orange, that’s normal from pulsing the seeds and skins and everything together.  You won’t even know it’s there.  It actually makes you kind of wonder what do the canned tomato companies put in your food to make it red? Scary.

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Garlic Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45-55 minutes
Serves: 3-4

3 pounds tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red chili tomato paste
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon onion powder

1.        Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2.       On a large baking sheet with a lip, place all of the cleaned whole tomatoes.  It doesn’t matter what kind of tomatoes you use---but if they have leaves on the top rip or cut them off.  I wouldn’t recommend plum tomatoes because they don’t have a lot of flavor.
3.       In the middle of the tomatoes put the 4 peeled garlic cloves.
4.       Coat everything with 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
5.       Place tomatoes and garlic in the oven at 425 degrees for about 50 minutes, checking to see if they are blistered around 45.  If they aren’t, let them go until 50 minutes, if they are taking them out then would be fine.
6.       Allow to cool on the counter for 20 minutes.
7.       In a large blender add the tomatoes and garlic.
8.       Next add red pepper flakes, herbs de Provence, onion powder, 2 tablespoons red chili paste, and a touch more salt and pepper for seasoning.
9.       Pulse for about 1-2 minutes, until tomatoes are completely dissolved. 

Serve over basically, anything, even card board, it’s that damn good.