I think I’ve got a winter’s worth of tomatoes canned. Applesauce, pickles, a couple dozen jars of plum jam…check, check, check. One of the last things to cross off my annual food-preservation list was this roasted tomato-sweet pepper sauce, and now I’ve done that, too. Here’s the scoop…
Get a bunch of tomatoes. (I started with about 25 pounds from my parents’ garden.) Core them, drizzle them with good olive oil, and throw them in a hot oven (400°ish) on a big sheet pan or baking dish.
Cook ‘em until they start to blacken and have lost a lot of liquid.
Get a bunch of sweet peppers. (I nabbed about 10 pounds of funky but delicious pimentos from Gathering Together Farm.) Core them and throw them in a hot oven on a sheet pan.
Cook ‘em until they’re blackened, soft, and juicy.
Get a bunch of onions. (I used 10 pounds or so from my parents’ garden.) Peel and quarter them, and throw them in a hot oven.
Cook ‘em until they start to get black around the edges.
Get some garlic and peel it.
Get some basil and pick it off the stems.
Okay, now run everything through a food processor with a little salt and a little more good olive oil. Process until smoothish. Some people get really worked up about peeling roasted peppers and tomatoes, but I went ahead and blended them all up blackened skin and all. A few tiny specks of black stuff in my sauce won’t bother me a bit.
Freeze the sauce for the winter in reused Nancy’s Yogurt quart containers. (I’m allergic to paying actual money for fancy freezer containers, and Nancy’s is one of very few food manufacturers that uses BPA-free #2 plastic containers.)
This sauce is a little on the sweet side due to the natural sugars in the tomatoes and peppers concentrated by the roasting. I like it sweet, but over the winter, I often thaw out a quart of this stuff and then cut it with a quart of raw-packed canned tomatoes to balance it out a bit. It’s good for pasta, pizza, or general purpose good eating.
(In case you were wondering, I cheated by using my mom’s big bread ovens for the roasting, her food processor for the blending, and my freezer in my parents’ barn for the freezing. While living off the grid is great and all, I do often take advantage of the “free” electricity at my parents’ house.)