Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer Tomatoes

When the garden begins to overflow with tomatoes I start making sauce. I make it in small batches and use within a few days with pasta, risotto and a base for soups. Here is a quick and easy tomato Sauce:

Summer Garden Tomato Sauce

5 -6 plump, beefy ripe tomatoes ( equal about 1 quart when diced)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Seasoning to taste - salt (try celery salt), pepper, etc.

Peel tomatoes by first dipping in boiling water for about 1 minute. Rinse under cold water so that you can handle them, slip off skins. Trim tems and process lightly in a blender. Using a food processor is also okay.

Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan and add garlic. Saute for about one minute, then add diced tomatoes. Add basil, seasonings and cook on medium for about 30 minutes. If tomatoes are really juicy you may need to cook longer. Goal is to get them reduced by about a third.

Tonight, I will use about 2 cups of this sauce for a Tomato Risotto. One daughter is a vegetarian so the risotto plus a salad will be her dinner. I'll include some grilled chicken for the meat eaters in the family. Dessert will be a Gluten Free vanilla cake with a yummy chocolate frosting since one of the kids has a friend over for dinner who is allergic to wheat.

Yummy Chocolate Mocha Frosting

1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 cup)
2/3 cup baking cocoa
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons brewed coffee
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add in cocoa and mix on medium speed. Slowly add in sugar and milk, alternating between the two. Once well mixed add in coffee and vanilla. Spread on cake while frosting is still warm. Makes enough to frost a two layer cake. Eating this right out of the pan is great too!!!!

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