Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Tomato Party!

Posted on | October 22, 2010 | 11 Comments

The thing I’ll miss most about summer? Tomatoes! They never taste as sweet, juicy, and earthy as they do in August and September. Our first year in the house we grew our own tomatoes which kinda ended in a disaster because it was the year of the monsoon. This year I opted for our local farmer’s market which turned out to be way better. I was able to find a larger selection and I was cooking with tomatoes a lot earlier in the summer then when I grew them.

A few of our favorites we made this summer. Above a homemade pizza crust (I used Jim Lahey’s recipe) with homemade pesto and roasted heirloom tomatoes on top. I roasted the tomatoes in the oven with olive oil before adding to the pizza and baking. Freakin’ deliciousness. Beautiful for a get together with friends or a special weekend lunch. Heats up great the next day too!

I made three or four batches of homemade tomato sauce. I tried it chunky and smooth. For me the best technique was to first squeeze the tomatoes through a sieve catching all the seeds and then cooking down the skins with the tomatoes. Once the sauce was done I milled the sauce getting out all the chunks. I realize I could have just mill it once and saved myself a step. Usually I began each sauce thinking I wanted it to be chunky and then in the last fifteen I would switch to wanting it smooth. Neurotic yes.

We can still find tomatoes at our farmer’s market and I made one last batch of sauce yesterday afternoon. Every time Greg takes his first bite he freaks out with excitement. But how could you not? Homemade tomato sauce ranks right up there with swimming in the ocean on the first hot day of summer.

Katy’s version of homemade tomato sauce

1/2 cup vidala onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 carrot grated
1 celery chopped
about 8-10 lbs of tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
A bunch of fresh basil

First, I wash and chop the tomatoes in half. I then push each of the tomatoes through a wire sieve. I try to grab as many of the seeds I can but I spend a little time smooshing it though so I can get all the juice into bowl. Again, probably not necessary if you plan to mill the sauce afterwords. I throw all the ingredients into my big dutch oven (except for the basil) with some olive oil, turn the burner to low and cook it down for about 2-3 hours. The range is based on what kind of tomatoes you use. Plums have less water but the tomatoes I used above took a little longer because of their high water content. Once the sauce has cooked down I used a mill to get all the skins out. Add about a cup of fresh chopped basil if you like and serve.

Of course there are a million variations of this basic sauce recipe. Some people don’t add the carrot or celery. It all depends on what you like. Everyone has different tweaks and methods. This is just the way I made it based on advice from friends and grandmas.

Related Posts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Recipe: Ratatouille and Sausage Potpie With Cornmeal Biscuits
I Hate My Tomatoes

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11 Responses to “Tomato Party!”

  1. mary
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    YES – tomatoes have been my absolute favorite thing about summer this year. I slice up one and put it inside a wrap with basil, guacamole, and salt and pepper. Incredible!

    Your pizza looks fabulous, and ironically we’re making pizza dough for the first time to have tonight. My neighbors rave about Gourmet’s recipe so we’re trying that, though I love Jim Lahey and will try his next.

    My husband makes a great homemade sauce, and depending on how many tomatoes we get in this week’s CSA pickup, we may jar some…yours sounds excellent!!


  2. chelsea
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

    amazing photos. looks yummy.


  3. Esther
    October 23rd, 2010 @ 1:12 am

    Your Tomato -Pizza looks very good,i will try it,too.

    greetings from germany ( this year we had no tomatoes ,too much rain ) !!!


  4. Uncle Bill
    October 24th, 2010 @ 8:37 am

    Looks fantastick. Cannot wait too try it!


  5. Leslie
    October 24th, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I’m inspired to try it–thanks!


  6. annamaria potamiti
    October 24th, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

    They are smell beautifuly, they taste deliciously and they look awesome in photographs,raw or cooked!! Yay for tomatoes!!!;)


  7. annamaria potamiti
    October 24th, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

    And I didn’t mean to say:’they *are* smell- but you get it I am sure….I always write too fast, oops!


  8. UrbanCottage
    October 24th, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

    That pizza is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.


  9. Esther
    October 25th, 2010 @ 1:08 am

    First the Tomatoe-Pizza and then a piece of your maple-syrup-cake !!!!!!


  10. Nicole Garrigan
    October 25th, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    Woooow, triple yum!


  11. Laura F.
    October 26th, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    That pizza looks amazing. Pesto and grape tomatoes? Yummy.


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