Summer seems to be leaving Land’s Sake just as it came this year – abruptly. Though dusk now falls before closing time, the farm stand is offering what is perhaps the most eclectic produce array of the season. For perhaps this one last week, our farmers are still harvesting summer staples like tomatoes, even as they gather cool-weather classics like delicata and acorn squash.
This week is ‘last call’ for Land’s Sake tomatoes, including heirlooms like Pineapple, German Striped, and Green Zebra. There are ways, however, to happily preserve this summer’s tomato bounty.
Many of our farm stand guests have noted canning conquests, a trick I might try someday, as well as appealing, elaborate sauce recipes. Still, the rigors of graduate school leave me looking for cooking shortcuts and batch cook-and-freeze methods. Whatever it is that leaves you wearied at the end of the day, a home-cooked, nutrient-rich meal will help mentally and physically prepare you for the next.
This weekend, I decided to try my hand at a homemade tomato sauce, using our own paste tomatoes. It’s amazing how much a five-pound bag of paste tomatoes cooks down – I’d recommend taking home two! The sauce came out thicker than I planned – a product of my laissez faire cooking style – but, paired with a Nashoba Brook Bakery baguette (just $2.75 at the stand!) it turned out to be a perfect hors d’oeuvre.
1. Half and core 5-10 pounds of Land’s Sake paste tomatoes
2. Dice at least ¼ Land’s Sake onion (Ailsa Craig, Pontiac, or Red Bull)
3. Chop at least 2 cloves garlic
4. In a small bowl, combine onions and garlic with ¼ cup olive oil
5. Add spices as desired; I happened to have some thyme left over from a family event, as well as Italian Parsley from the farm stand, so I added a little of each as well as a bit of salt and pepper
6. Lay tomatoes out in lightly vegetable oil-greased baking pan and sprinkle with olive oil mixture
7. Roast everything at about 300 degrees for an hour and a half or until the tomatoes are starting to brown
8. Let cool
9. Blend in food processor or blender
10. Place hearty dollops on crostini (sliced and toasted of Nashoba Brook Bakery bread
(Optional: add fresh mozzarella)
Hope to see you soon,
Emily Elizabeth, RD