This season has arrived!! Our favorite farmer Tom Shepherd of Shepherd Farms had his first Roman tomato of the year in the Santa Barbara Saturday farmer’s market. I have been looking forward to this moment and how fortunate I am that we were visiting my husband’s family in Santa Barbara during this weekend.
Beauty of roasting
This is one of the true blessings I have been experiencing living in California: to be able to make my own tomato sauce with the locally grown tomatoes. Homemade tomato sauce is incomparably more delicious than store bought canned tomatoes. Especially my tomato sauce, which is roasted, and that I learned from my dear friend Karene (whom I call Tomato Queen, since she is a master of growing tomatoes in her garden) during my life in Norway, and it is incredibly delicious! Like the apple sauces cooked in the pot and roasted in the oven taste quite different from each other, the same goes with the tomato sauce. When you roast the tomatoes, the overall flavor gets stronger and richer. And I usually also roast them with some onions and garlic, blending with some herbs. So, the sauce has more flavor as well as vegetable ingredients, hence, it is more balanced by itself. Therefore, I cannot help but share the recipe with you here, too.
Working with strong cooling (yin) energy
As I mentioned in the fermented tomato sauce article, I have been exploring ways to decrease the strong cooling (yin) energy of tomatoes to bring more balance, and to enjoy this delicious fruit of the earth. One of the effective ways is certainly to roast them at high temperature for an extended time. In this way, the strong cooling yin energy of tomatoes is compensated for by being infused with the heating yang energy. You might be able to sense it also when you taste the finished sauce. It has a less acidic taste, with richer and sweeter flavor.
Making the sauce for the rest of the year
Summer is the only season when I use raw tomatoes for my cooking. So, when I make roasted tomato sauce, I usually pack most of the sauce into 16oz. jars and store them in the freezer. In this way, I can cook with the tomatoes from time to time that don’t have too strong of a cooling effect even during the fall and winter season. I also choose not to do canning, because I don’t want to add lemon juice or citric acid into the sauce, which seems to be the standard direction for the canning of tomato sauce, and I don’t want to bother myself with the worry about the sauce getting spoiled. This way has been working perfectly for me. Whenever I want to cook with the sauce, I take out the sauce from the freezer half a day before, and it is ready by the time I am ready to cook.
But of course, it goes without saying, we also enjoy the freshly made roasted tomato sauce in this season. I can enjoy making pasta, chili, ratatouille-caponata, and other dishes.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 4x16oz jar
- 5 lb. tomatoes
- 2 medium size onion
- 8 garlic cloves
- fresh or dried herbs (optional)
- Step 1 Have the jars sterilized.
- Step 2 Peel the onions and cut them into 1/16 size.
- Step 3 Place the washed tomatoes, peeled garlic, and onions into the baking dish.
- Step 4 Place the baking dish into the oven and turn to 450 F.
- Step 5 Once the temperature reaches 450 F, keep roasting another 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes release their juice into the dish and are well roasted.
- Step 6 Turn the oven off and let the dish cool down inside until it becomes warm, not hot.
- Step 7 Put all the ingredients including the juice into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a lid and allow it to cool down to room temperature if you are using a blender with a plastic container. If you are using an immersion blender or a blender with a glass container, you can go ahead and blend them immediately.
- Step 8 For the blender user (with a plastic container), once it is cooled down to room temperature, put all the ingredients into the blender and blend well.
- Step 9 (Optional) If you want to sterilize the sauce, pour the sauce into a pot and let boil for two minutes.
- Step 10 Put the sauce into jars. You can do the canning. I usually store them in the freezer. If you put in the freezer, keep the lid loose until the sauce freezes, as the volume of the contents increase during the freezing process. And make sure to seal the jars once they freeze.