Cooking Up the Summer Harvest—Tomatoes

I still have a lot of tomatoes coming for more of the following recipes

I think I already have enough roasted tomatoes in the freezer (about 8 containers, small and medium in size), which I made as the tomatoes began to ripen in small batches. I saved them in small containers so they could be added to dishes—sauces, pizza, salads—or just eaten like candy. These are the kind of  tomatoes roasted with lots of olive oil, salt, and thyme until they shrivel up into little red gems that are slightly caramelized on the bottoms and edges. I pretty much follow this recipe from Rachael Ray for “Roasted Tomatoes.”


With the rest of the tomatoes—the ones I didn’t put in the salsa of the last post—I made lots of sauce and puree. I don’t have one of those food mills that separates out seeds and skin, and now I’m not sure I want one. I found two terrific recipes that use all of the tomato by putting the cooked ingredients into the blender, not the food processor, the blender. Neither recipe requires peeling and only one requires seeding. If you’re thinking that leaving the skin and some seeds in the sauces might be bitter, you’re wrong.

The sauce is thick yet mild, not that deep red, highly-acidic kind you find in jars. It retains a little of the roasted tomato taste and it must be the onions and carrots that make it a little milder—yes, onions and carrots. One change I made in the process is not roasting peeled garlic with the veggies; I just added garlic paste to the mixture in the blender. The other change is not picking off the roasted tomato skins—they add a great caramelized flavor to the sauce and you don’t notice any pieces at all.

We have 5 quarts of sauce in the freezer, having already eaten two others with pasta.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: makes 1 quart
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The original recipe can be found here: Martha Stewart’s “Roasted Tomato Sauce.”

Preheat oven to 425°; line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  • 3 pounds Roma tomatoes (you can use beefsteak or a combination, but big round tomatoes take up more room on the sheet)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • olive oil to drizzle over vegetables
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste, commercial or homemade from roasted garlic
  1. Core tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and place cut side down on baking sheet. You do not have to seed tomatoes for this recipe. Yay 😊
  2. Place cut onions and carrots on baking sheet. As you can see in the photo, it all fits on one sheet if you have weighed your tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over all. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  4. Roast vegetables for about 45 mins or until caramelized.
  5. Scoop all the vegetables into a blender, then pour in any juices from the pan and add the garlic. Blend to puree to a thick even consistency.
  6. Store in freezer in 1 quart container.

I often double the recipe when I have a lot of tomatoes.

Tomato Purée

I currently have 11 pints of tomato puree in the freezer, stored flat in zip-top freezer bags. The pint (2 cups) size is good for adding flavor to other sauces and soups, etc. Follow the easy directions here: The Kitchn: “How to Make Tomato Purée




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