Tomatoes are a fantastically versatile vegetable, which is good considering the amount of ripe ones I have in the garden right now. Ranging from marble-sized to softball-sized or larger they can be eaten raw or cooked in a number of ways. There’s nothing like popping into your mouth a fresh from the garden cherry tomato, or a thick slice of a garden fresh heirloom tomato. They can be used fresh as is, stuffed, or added to salads or sandwiches. Cooking them just expands their usefulness. Baked, broiled, grilled, fried, sautéed, or roasted – there are many methods to explore with this wonderful summertime fruit.
And when the crop is abundant it’s time to think of how to preserve it. One of my favorite ways to preserve tomatoes for use in the winter is to take my excess cherry and grape tomatoes, roast them with some garlic and basil, and freeze it for later. The result is delicious.
In my last batch, most of the tomatoes I used were cherry or grape, but I did add a few Roma and slicers to thin it out a bit as it can get pretty thick otherwise. This is a healthy recipe that’s easy, fairly quick, and good tasting. Enjoy!
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
8 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
4-5 cloves garlic, or more if desired
8-10 large basil leaves
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
4-5 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges
1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Remove stems and wash tomatoes. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, and larger tomatoes in wedges. Line 2 jelly roll pans with foil and drizzle olive oil on the foil.
Spread out the oil and put cherry tomatoes on the foil, cut side up. Place wedges on the foil, cut side up.
Peel garlic and place on the pan among the tomatoes.
Wash basil and add to the tomatoes, gently tearing the larger leaves.
Sprinkle the pan of tomatoes, garlic, and basil with balsamic vinegar and kosher salt. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until tomatoes are tender.
Remove from oven and blend together in a food processor till desired consistency.
Sauce will be thick. Freeze in bags or plastic freezer containers. Makes about 3 pints.
Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”