October 27, 2010

Taste of Red, Yellow, Pink, Green, & Purple

One foggy morning, recently, I decided to dive into making as many different kinds of tomato sauce as I could manage. The images in this piece are the colors of the tomatoes and dried basil I gathered to make the sauces: yellow, red, pink, green, purple, oh, so luscious!

Serendipitous how the sunset hues on the garden shed mirrored the tomato sauce colors. A while back I told you about this wonderful hand felted carpet from Khazikstan, relegated to living on the garden shed wall because of its insistence on keeping the moths that laid their eggs and decided to call it home!

Let's get to the tomato sauces! I decided to make as many different kinds as I could invent. On my little stove-top smoker, I smoke sliced tomatoes above mesquite chips. When I spooned the smoked tomatoes to the food mill some of the ash came along. My thought was that it would just add to the flavor with tiny black specks throughout the sauce.  The smoked flavor ended up being mild and quite lovely!

 See what I mean about the colors of the sunset and a foggy morning?

It all began with heirloom and field tomatoes from the Bozeman Community Food Co-op, http://www.bozo.coop/ plus a slew of my homegrown Italian paste and Beaverlodge slicers. The wrinkled ones are the field variety. Using multiple varieties for the sauces worked well to add different flavors, color, and texture. Two varieties of basil, Sweet and Armenian, were grown and dried by my Ennis friend, Kendra, who calls her business, Wild Thymes. She grows many different types of herbs in her greenhouse and formal herb garden. It is surprising how dehydrating herbs, garlic, and vegetables enhances the flavor to create a burst of summer goodness.

My second sauce recipe was oven-roasted tomatoes with the basil. Roasting in French pottery, of course imparts the flavor the Provencal countryside. "Really? Are you kidding", I can hear you saying. I think cooking anything in earthenware brings a flavor to food achieved in no other manner.
Just out of the oven, the roasted red, green, and purple are waiting to become only red!
Recently, I purchased this Italian food mill. It is called, "Velox" Il Passatutto called a 'tomato press' at: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/
The food mill attaches to a counter top by a suction device in the base. The press can be totally dissembled for cleaning and storing. It's a great kitchen tool! It had no problem separating the seeds and skin from the tomatoes. It can be used for lots of fruits and veg.

Our freezer is now brimming with different flavorful tomato sauces. It has been a beautiful, colorful fall with summer warmth here in Montana. Happy Indian Summer! (Now, there's a topic, where did we get the name, Indian Summer?)

1 comment:

  1. O yum. I could eat tomatoes for breakfast. Your new kitchen tool sounds great. I think maybe next year when I have more time, my tomatoes will get the attention they deserve. This year I ingored them in the garden.. poor things! Now I am wishing I had done SOMETHING after reading your post!