tomato onion sauce.
I had every intention of doing lots of canning this year. I envisioned neat rows of pickled carrots, fresh fruit preserves and tomato sauce populating the upper shelves of my cupboards. But time has gotten away from me, and various natural causes have challenged me (I won’t even mention the gopher that ate, from the ground up, the roots & stalk of my tomato plants!). But today I had the ambition and the hunger for putting up at least a few jars of a tomatoey something. The sun-kissed, sweet fruit tastes like a summer in a jar come February. The recipe is loose – more a method than a recipe, really – but there is positively no way to futz it up. Don’t let the lack of quantities put you off of this delicious sauce that’s equally good over pasta as it is a stewing liquid for pork roast that’s shredded, piled on a crisp tostada shell, then topped with cilantro, fresh cabbage, queso fresco & guacamole. ¡Olé!
Tomato & Onion Sauce
2 parts really ripe tomatoes
1 part onions (I like to use a mix, here; consider red, white, yellow and vidalia as top contenders)
a few cloves garlic, to taste
a jalapeño or two, to taste
Preheat the broiler. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into chunks, and cut the onion from pole to pole, peel it, then wedge each half into a few pieces, making sure each wedge is held together by a bit of the root end. Peel the garlic. Slice the jalapeño in half lengthwise.
Pour some olive oil on a baking sheet, then put a reasonable amount of the tomato/onion/garlic/jalapeño mixture on it; there should be some space for the produce to move around some. If you’re making a small batch of this sauce, all of the ingredients will fit on the pan; if you’re making lots of the sauce, you’ll need to do this a few times. Toss the veggies around in the olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt. Place under broiler and broil until brown bits begin to appear on the surface of the veggies, about 7 minutes. Stir, then return to broiler for another few minutes. The tomatoes should be wilted, the onions partly cooked, the jalapeño blackened in some spots, and the garlic browned. Pour all of this into the blender, using caution with the hot ingredients, and whirl it until completely puréed. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if desired, sugar if it seems too acidic, or lime juice if it’s not acidic enough.
That’s it! You’re done! Enjoy it now with some chips, pour it over fresh pasta, preserve it in jars and open it when in need of a dose of summer, come February.
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