OK, so it’s a self-inflicted tomato glut, as I bought a whole big box of tomatoes at the farmers’ market yesterday. Is it a farmer’s market or farmers’ market? There seemed to be many farmers there yesterday so I’m settling for farmers’ market on this occasion.
Anyway, I was seduced firstly by some very nice bacon from the lovely Sunnyside Farm near Sanquhar (where I hope to butcher a pig later this year) and then some fresh beetroot, which I adore, and eat in vast quantities, making up for the many, many years when I refused to eat it at all, on account of its unacceptable vinegariness. Who knew it didn’t need to come in a jar full of vinegar?
Then, just when I thought I was safe, I spied the boxes of tomatoes, with a lovely handwritten sign: Tomatoes different sizes and shapes. £3 a box. How could I resist?
The first recipe also fortuitously made use of my birthday purchase of a large second-hand Le Creuset lasagne-style dish (bought at Garrion Bridge for only £10). Roasted tomato passata. Or sauce to you and me. It’s adapted from a Hugh Fearnley Whatsinstore book. The preserves one. Thanks Hugh. And Pam Corbin who actually does the preserves, and writes the recipes. So far all the recipes I’ve tried are lush, so go buy the book, and get the original recipe, along with all her good advice on sterilising jars and all that jazz.
Roasted tomato sauce
about 1kg tomatoes
2-3 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
2-3 garlic cloves, also peeled and sliced thinly
A few sprigs of a mediterranean herb like rosemary, thyme, basil or oregano, alternatively add a teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds. Add some sliced fresh chillies if you want a kick, or dried chillies if you haven’t grown/bought any fresh ones!
1/2 tsp salt
a good few grinds of black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
a serious glug or two of olive oil
Preheat your oven to GM 4, or 180C
- Cut your tomatoes in half, and place them cut side up in the dish. You may end up with a couple of layers, but that’s ok.
- Scatter all the other ingredients over the top
- Roast for about an hour or so, about until your nose is telling you that there is something seriously delicious in the oven
- Use a large spoon to muddle the tomatoes around a bit in the pan, allowing the juicy tomatoes to dissolve some of the lovely caramelised burnty bits in the corners. Or don’t if you’d prefer not to have the richer colour and flavour in your final sauce
- Cool for a wee bit and then liquidise. I put it in a bowl and use the hand-held zizzer, but you could use a proper liquidiser. Or Pam recommends sieving it, or putting it through a mouli or a passata machine. Who owns a passata machine? Hands up. Get over yourself. Just zizz it with a zizzer and call it rustic tomato sauce.
- Now, I don’t bother with the whole jar thing at this stage, which seems to add a layer of complication I can’t be bothered with when I only have a weekend to play with. (You have to put it in sterilised jars and sort of seal them, and then put them in a large saucepan of water and simmer the whole lot for a while).
- Pop in a labelled freezer bag, and pop the freezer bag in a suitable plastic container. Put it all in the freezer once it’s cooled enough not to defrost your freezer.
And that’s it.
I used the first batch straight away with homemade meatballs and it was absolutely delicious.
My second recipe was Tomato and Fennel Relish, but you’ll have to wait for that because I’m back in Edinburgh now and the recipe book is in the Valley.