Much to my delight, my husband took over the garden this year. It’s something I’ve done for years and taken satisfaction in, but it’s never been an utter love of mine.
Being an enthusiastic newbie, he may have gone a bit overboard in planting, especially the tomatoes. He planted FIFTEEN tomato plants.
So, that is why this pic of the tomato harvest from just the past two days represents my workdesk this week. Nope, I haven’t been getting much crafting done lately because every day there’s a new pile of something to cook or preserve: 15 pounds of cucumbers, piles of green beans, bunches of basil, a heap of jalapenos, and the tomatoes currently on the table. Yeah, I’ve been busy. But it’ll be good.
So this week I thought I’d share with you three of my favorite recipes: for tomato sauce, salsa and jalapeno poppers.
First up is Roasted Tomato Sauce. The original recipe is from Martha Stewart Everyday Food, but I’ve tweaked it a bit. It’s wonderful because the vegetables don’t require much prep and the roasting gives everything a great depth of flavor.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
This recipe makes about 2.5 quarts, but I usually double it, using two large bowls, two baking sheets and roasting for 50 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through.
- 6 pounds large size tomatoes (like beefsteak)
- 2 medium size white or yellow onions
- 4 carrots
- 1 head garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2-3 teaspoons salt (start with a lower amount, then check for seasoning before canning)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Core the tomatoes and cut out any bad parts, cut in half around the equator. If you don’t like seeds in your sauce (I don’t mind and leave them in) gently squeeze each tomato half over the sink to remove the seeds.
- Peel and cut the onions in half, slice into 3/8-inch slices. Peel all the garlic cloves, but leave whole. Cut the carrots into thick rounds (3/8-inch). I don’t bother to peel the carrots, just scrub them well.
- Toss all the veggies into a large bowl (a 32-cup Tupperware Thatsa Bowl works perfectly) along with the thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss in the bowl to coat everything with oil.
- Place tomato halves, cut sides down, on a large baking sheet. Then pour everything remaining in bowl over tomatoes, spreading evenly.
- Roast in oven for 40-45 minutes. Onions & tops of tomatoes should just be getting black.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and immediately use tongs to remove tomato skins. (Depending on the variety of the tomato some skins will slip right off and other will be more difficult. I just get the ones that are easy and don’t worry about the rest.)
- Pour the entire contents of the baking sheet, juices and all, into a bowl and blend until smooth with a stick blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a regular blender will do.
- Adjust seasoning to taste before canning.
Aren’t these green zebra tomatoes pretty? We had so many I decided to make something to showcase their color, rather than having the green in the tomato sauce. So, hence:
Makes about 12 half-pint jars.
- 1 head garlic
- 1/4 cup parsley or cilantro
- 4 jalapeno peppers, stems removed. cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 10 lbs tomatoes, cored & cut into large chunks
- 1 cup 5% acidity white vinegar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 5 teaspoons salt
- Peel all garlic cloves and place in food processor with parsley or cilantro. Process in 4-6 one second pulses until minced.
- If you like your salsa spicy, leave the seeds & white membrane in the jalapenos and just cut them into 1 inch pieces. For a milder salsa remove seeds & membranes. Place in food processor with onions for four one second pulses. Veggies should be just chopped fine, but not mush.
- Remove contents of food processor to 8-quart pot. Don’t wash out food processor. (Don’t stick your head over this pot and breathe deep, either. haha)
- Add tomatoes to food processor in small batches and process each in four one second pulses before adding to cooking pot with jalapenos.
- Add salt, vinegar and lime juice to pot. Stir, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until salsa is consistency you like. I let mine go for about 45 minutes.
- Adjust salt to taste before canning.
This final recipe isn’t so much for preserving as for using up all those jalapenos, but I have had good luck freezing these then pulling out a few to bake for every Patriots game.
This recipe filled six HUGE jalapenos from the garden. Of course, it will fill more if you use smaller ones.
- 1 lb. bacon
- 6-12 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise; stems, seeds & white membrane removed (If you’re going to make a lot of these I strongly recommend you use gloves. I generally have no problem with a few, but did dozens one year and my hands burned for three days.)
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook bacon until crisp using your favorite method. (I like to put it on a rack over a cookie sheet and bake in a 375° oven for 25 minutes.) When cool, chop into 1/4-inch pieces.
- Combine cream cheese with chives, onion powder, salt & pepper. Mix in all but 1/2 cup of bacon.
- Stuff jalapeno halves with cream cheese/bacon mixture.
- Top each popper with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a bit of the remaining chopped bacon.
- Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes.
These are delicious hot out of the oven, cooled to room temp later or even cold from the fridge the next day.
If you came here looking for a crafty post today, sorry! I hope you enjoyed the recipes instead.