On the menu – home grown tomato sauce

Thursday

I’ve been growing tomatoes in a hanging basket, on a whim (I had spotted the plant when going into Wilcos for something completely different, as you do and was struck by how healthy the plant looked) and it’s getting to be harvesting time. The tomatoes in the photo above are probably about two-thirds of the crop, there are still some on the plant which could do with a little more ripening. So obviously to keep myself permanently in home grown tomato sauce, I would have had to fill my garden with tomato plants, I’d already known that but it was a nice, fun experiment, keeping the extremely thirsty plant alive, feeding it, getting excited when it flowered, even more excited when it started to produce fruit and very very excited when those fruit actually started to ripen (my dad, my gardening expert, didn’t think I’d be able to do it, in my little city garden without a greenhouse).

The thing is, only K, my husband, actually likes raw tomatoes and the tomato plant turned out to be a cherry tomato plant (Wilcos, not big on overly detailed plant labels here), so it would have been particularly fantastic for a family of cherry tomato snackers but not really for us. So, although I knew it wouldn’t make much tomato sauce, I decided to roast them, using this recipe as a basis. You have to roast the tomatoes at a low temperature for a very long time, which is worth it almost for just the gorgeous smell filling your kitchen as it does. You then just whizz it all up in a food processor or a blender, so really simple and if I were drowning in tomatoes I would do this all the time because the resulting sauce is really nice, with a more complex, savoury flavour, than just a simple fresh tomato sauce. I can well believe the recipe author’s suggestions for using the sauce as a base for things like soup or lasagne too, except you would need an awful lot of tomatoes (although if my tomato plant had turned out not to be a cherry tomato plant ….). So, out of two-thirds of my crop, I just got this amount of sauce.

HipstamaticPhoto-524079370.449593

(That’s a very small tub, by the way, I know I haven’t put anything to show scale). It will just about enough, if I stretch it with some cheese, for pasta for three people, which is lucky, as only three people like pasta in this household.

Next year, will I be growing tomatoes again? Yes, definitely! Not a cherry tomato plant though, I need good cooking tomatoes.

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