The bounty of the produce stand

Labor Day marks the end of summer which always makes me sad.  I feel like I wish I had spent more time at the pool, played more tennis and played  more golf.  I also feel that I need to rush to use the great vegetables from the produce stand before they close up shop for the winter.  I went a little wild buying tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers.  I’m making two different tomato sauces to freeze – one cooks on the stove and is mild for using on pizzas and lasagna while the other cooks in the oven and is zestier, wonderful on pasta with fresh mozzarella cheese.  I’m also making gazpacho.  Here are the recipes:

Tomato Sauce

  • 6 lbs of tomatoes, cored and quartered (I threw in some cherry tomatoes because we had a bunch from our plant)
  • 15 – 20 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Put tomatoes in a heavy sauce pan with a lid and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes until juice is released from tomatoes.  Using a food mill, strain the mixture so that you have sauce.  Cook sauce over low heat until thickened to desired consistency.  Stir in olive oil, salt and pepper and freeze in small containers.  (You can also freeze in ice cube trays.)
Roasted Tomato Sauce
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 7 – 8 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TB capers
  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
in a glass baking dish toss tomatoes with olive oil garlic and red pepper.  Roast at 375 for about 45 minutes.  Stir in basil and salt and roast for another 15 minutes.  Stir in capers and anchovy paste and roast for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Freeze until ready to use.
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 TB wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 – 3 tomatoes, diced
Combine all ingredients.  I usually puree about 1/2 the vegetables and leave the other half finely chopped to give the soup texture.
Next weekend I’ll make ratatouille!