What to do with 42 locally grown tomatoes?

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We found ourselves returning from the mountains of North Carolina with this large basket, brimming with locally grown cornfield beans and tomatoes. What to do with it all?

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I decided to pull out the tomatoes and see how many it had. It looked like there weren’t too many, maybe 10?

 

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Yeah, try 42!! Turns out the basket was almost all tomatoes, with some pole beans on top. 

We decided to use them to make a nice tomato sauce – the kind that simmers all day and develops a wonderfully rich flavor and thick texture.

Helped by the discovery of a tomato press we found hidden in the pantry, we crosshatched the tomatoes, blanched them, and then squeezed them up into the mill. Cranking the mill was the most fun part of the whole process – the peel and seeds was separated from the pulp, which we added to the sauce!

 

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I started the base of the sauce by sauteeing some chopped veggies: 2 onions, 8 carrots, 2 zucchini and 1 red bell pepper, garlic.

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For other flavors: olive oil, italian seasoning, 2 bay leaves, and a handful of fresh basil.

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This is our basil growing out in the garden. We’ve also planted collards, spinach, mesclun greens and chives, which should be coming up soon!

 

 

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Using the tomato press/mill was so much fun! Although wearing a white t-shirt seemed like a horrible idea, I was able to avoid red splashes :) The counter and nearby surfaces were not so lucky.

 

 

We filled 2 large pots of sauce, and let them cook down for 8 hours until they had reduced by 50% and could be combined into one pot. The seasoning seemed perfect and required little changes at the end (I must be a master chef after all!).

After cooling over night, we poured the sauce into 4 containers, ready for the freezer!

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Then we called in our faithful clean up crew to take care of the sauce-covered bowls :)

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One Response

  1. Elizabeth,
    What a wonderful blog you have! The pictures are so colorful!
    Good luck on your new job, can’t wait to hear all about it!
    I may need to borrow the passata. Never seen or heard tell of one.
    Amy

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