Archive for September 27th, 2011

27th September
written by Loren

As I mentioned earlier, my roomie Tyler is something of a gardener. This year he grew two kinds of tomatoes, several kinds of cucumbers, pumpkins, butternut squash, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, lettuce, eggplant, 4 kinds of peppers, brussel sprouts, and watermelon, plus the herb garden. Well, seeing as how we live in the tundra, we had to pick pretty much everything we could last Wednesday because it was forecasted to freeze overnight. Lemme

Minneapolis, round about the start of November

just run that one by you one more time. Last Wednesday was September 14. The last day of summer is September 22nd. And it was supposed to freeze. [Editors note: Please ignore the dating issue above resulting from the delay in posting this.]

Anyways, we suddenly had a massive amount of veggies to do something with. Tyler will be stewing the heirloom tomatoes, and he made some pickled pumpkin which I think will turn out to be pretty good. I took all the cherry tomatoes to make this quick and easy tomato sauce. My favorite part about this recipe is how fast you get a rich, full flavored sauce compared to the normal methods which require an hour or more of stewing.

Combine 4 cups of halved cherry tomatoes with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar, 5 cloves of minced garlic, 1 pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp of minced fresh oregano and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Mix that all together and then spread it out on a sheet pan lined with tin foil, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes start to get a bit of browning. Once the tomatoes are done, throw them in a food processor along with some fresh basil leaves, 1/4-1/2 cup of shredded parmesean, 2 tbsp of EVOO, and 1/2 tsp of red wine vinegar. Process that all together until it’s smooth, and you’re done. Although you don’t have to be done, you could add the sauce back to a pan full of spicy italian sausage. Nothing wrong with that.

Now a word about the tomatoes you use: I don’t think you would need to use cherry tomatoes for this recipe to be good, we just happened to have a bucket of cherry tomatoes which needed to be used up. But I do think that, in general, the cherry tomatoes you find in grocery stores tend to be more flavorful than the full size tomatoes, unless your grocery store is selling heirloom tomatoes. In a perfect world, you would grow your own tomatoes. I was listening to The Splendid Table the other week and the guest of the week spent about 10 minutes convincing me that Florida tomatoes (aka the vast majority of tomatoes you find in North America all winter long) are just about the most evil fruit to ever exist. Because of the humid environment and soil which is almost solely composed of sand, it takes 7-8 times the amount of fertilizer, fungicide, herbicide and pesticide to grow tomatoes in Florida as compared to someplace like California. There is also a long history of using slave labor to harvest tomatoes in Florida. If you want more information (and really, you should check out this stuff) you can download that episode of The Splendid Table (August 20th episode), or go check out the writings of Barry Estabrook in his book Tomatoland.

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