If it weren’t so on-again-off-again with the rain, these would be the dog days of summer, but the dogs have got it easy right now. It’s the sort of weather where autumn can creep up unnoticed, covering the landscape with a blanket of fog and downy mildew until summer passes quietly in the night. But summer hasn’t passed quite yet! As you may have noticed, your shares are all but brimming with tomatoes this week—and that is what a CSA is all about—what we have in abundance, you have in abundance, and hopefully it’s even a thing you like! As a weekly staple for us, tomatoes often get short shrift on the recipe front, often included incidentally in other recipes, but rarely the stars of the show. Well enough of that, this is their week to shine! (or at least glisten, I guess…) So what follows are As the counters in the pack shed begin to creak and groan under the weight of our tomato bounty, this is the time of year when Farmer Dave starts making crockpot tomato sauce to put up for the winter. There is really very little to this, as a recipe, mostly just the chopping, but just so you feel like you’re getting your newsletter’s worth, here is a slight (oh-so-slight) flourish by way of the Smitten Kitchen.
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking via www.smittenkitchen.com
Put the tomatoes coarsely diced tomatoes and onion in a crockpot on medium-high. Leave to simmer gently for 18-24 hours or until tomatoes are fully cooked and beginning to caramelize. After the first 6-12 hours, remove the onion and add the 5 T butter, stirring until melted and well mixed. Add salt to taste and serve over pasta, or freeze in gallon bags for the winter. If you want the original stovetop recipe using canned tomatoes from The Smitten Kitchen, you can find it here. The next two recipes are simple and elegant salsa preparations from the absurdly accomplished Rick Bayless. Remember, seeds in for heat, seeds out for mild. You can always swap your pepper types up or down too for more or less heat.
Scoop the onion into a strainer, rinse under cold tap water, shake off the excess and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the green chile, tomatoes, cilantro and lime. Stir well, taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Scoop the onion into a strainer, rinse under cold tap water, shake off the excess and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the mirasol chile, tomatoes, herbs and lime. Stir well, taste and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon. This salsa is best if eaten within an hour or two, but it will keep for a number of hours in the refrigerator.
Well, dear friends, it’s August and I hardly know what to say about that anymore…this is August served neat. No ice, no mixer, no nothing.