Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Quick-roasted plum tomato pizza sauce

By
Susie Middleton
Photography by
Annabelle Breakey

Pull the flavour out of your plum tomatoes to create this sweet sauce


Quick-roasted plum tomato pizza sauce

Makes 1 1⁄4 to 1 3⁄4 cups /300 to 4 20 ml

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1⁄4 cup/60 ml
  • 2 to 2 1⁄4 lb/910 g to 1 kg plum tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • Sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 scant tbsp fresh oregano (torn if large)
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp balsamic vinegar, plus more if needed
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, cut crosswise into very thin slices

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/gas 7. Line a large, heavy-duty, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and cover the foil with parchment. Brush the parchment with the 1 tbsp olive oil.

2. Halve each tomato lengthwise, and, leaving in the core, scrape out the seeds and ribs with a melon baller or measuring spoon. Put the tomato halves, cut-side up, on the parchment.

3. Season the cavity of each tomato half with a small pinch of salt and a big pinch of sugar. Tuck the thyme and oregano leaves into the cavities, distributing them evenly among the halves. Drizzle a few drops of the vinegar inside each tomato half. (It’s easiest to put a little vinegar in a small bowl and use a small measuring spoon, like a 1/8 tsp, to distribute a few drops to each tomato.) Drop a slice or two of garlic into each cavity. Drizzle the remaining olive oil in and around the tops of each tomato, distributing the oil evenly.

4. Roast the tomatoes until they are wrinkled and somewhat collapsed, 40 to 45 minutes. The bottoms will be lightly browned, and the tomatoes will collapse more as they cool.

5. Let the tomatoes cool on the baking sheet pan for 15 minutes or so. Transfer the tomatoes (and all their juices) to the bowl of a food processor. Process, pulsing repeatedly, until a sauce forms. It will be a rough sauce but should be more smooth than chunky. It will have a rosy, almost brick-red color and be very flavorful.

Taste and season the sauce with a tiny bit more salt or vinegar, if you like. (If using the sauce for pizza, don’t over season, as the cheese on the pizza will contribute salt. If using the sauce for pasta, season a bit more boldly.)

6. Store the sauce in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.



mediterranean-bookcover.jpgExcerpted from The Fresh & Green Table: Delicious Ideas for Bringing Vegetables Into Every Meal by Susie Middleton. Copyright © 2012 by Chronicle Books. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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