Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Tomatoes? Roast 'em!

When I was growing up, my baby brother was cute but just that...a baby. He was fun to dress up in costumes occasionally (there is photographic evidence, all you Eat. Drink. Think. fans) but generally didn't make it on my radar most of the time growing up. I remember thinking when I went off to college and he was still in junior high, that it would be interesting to see how this virtual stranger would turn out once he grew up.

Who knew that he would eventually be the proprietor of two universally adored Portland landmark establishments (now universally missed), Shaker's Cafe in the nascent Pearl district and County Cork Public House on Hawthorne? Or become a wine savant with his own shop, Vino, in Sellwood? Or, even more astonishing, go from eating only burgers and spaghetti to becoming an adventurous consumer and cook of everything from fish to fine soups to desserts.

Oh, and a generous and ebullient lover of life and all-around great guy, no less. So where is all this pride and joy leading? To his recipe for tomato sauce, of course. This summer he's been running almost as many tomato recipes in his blog as I have, and this one's a killer. So simple, so easy! And now that the temperature in the house is cooling down, it's the perfect way to use up the last of the garden's bounty.

Summer Fresh Tomato Sauce

1 dozen (or more, or less) fresh tomatoes
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Destem tomatoes. Slice tomatoes in half and arrange cut side up on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Slide baking sheet in middle of oven and roast for 3 1/2 hours. Remove baking sheet from oven and carefully slide a spatula underneath each tomato and drop into work bowl of food processor. It may take a couple of batches. Pulse tomatoes until chopped to your desired consistency. Eat fresh, or remember that winter will soon be here and freeze a few containers.

*Cook's note: I read a lot of recipes that called for adding herbs sprinkled on top while they roast. I think this takes away from the essential freshness of this sauce. Save the herbs to add when you heat up the sauce later.

**Second note: If you want a smoother sauce, remove the skins and seeds by putting four to six of the roasted halves in a sieve and pressing them through the mesh with the back of a wooden spoon. Discard skins and seeds before putting more tomatoes through sieve.

No comments: