Friday, July 30, 2010

Roasted tomato sauce

I like to kick off the tomato-sauce-making season with roasted sauce. It's perfect when you have a fair amount of tomatoes, but now enough to justify going through all the effort of canning. I found this recipe years ago in Everyday Food (you're the best, Martha), and have made it countless times since.

I start by coating my pans with plenty of olive oil, thyme, salt & pepper, then layer sliced onions, and halved & cored tomatoes. Add a little more oil on top, and toss them in the oven.

After about an hour or so they look like this.

I let them cool on the counter for a bit, and then pinch off the tomato skins.

Then I toss everything in a pot, and break out the emulsion blender. (This is the best thing ever -- and so cheap!)

Sometimes I puree just a little bit, and sometimes I make it smooth. I let it cook down for a little while, then let it cool and get it ready for the freezer. Damn, it's good!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Harvest begins

It's that time of year again... tomatoes for dinner every night!

Here's an example of our daily harvest... roma tomatoes, various heirloom tomotoes, yellow pear tomatoes, jalapeños and chili peppers.

This is our crazy tomatillo jungle. The three plants are all over six feet tall.

There must be at least 500 of these buggers in various stages of growth. I'm in trouble!

I picked the first ones this week... they're bigger and heavier than the ones I've bought in the grocery store. Salsa verde, anyone?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tomato update

The tomatoes are coming along nicely! Canning season will be here before I know it.

Mortgage Lifters

San Marzanos

Yellow Pears

Harvesting garlic

Last fall I planted garlic for the first time. It was really easy. Following directions I found online, I used different garlic heads from farmer's markets, broke them up into cloves, and planted them at the end of the season (it's tradition to plant them on the shortest day of the year). Sure enough, they came up this spring.

I planted them among my herbs, but they were easy to spot.

Again following online advice, I pulled them when the stalks were brown about a 1/3 of the way.

Now all that's left is to cure them (dry them out).

Pretty cool, huh? I'm going to plant a ton of these next year!

Lily show

Here are some of my favorite lilies from our garden this year: