Each year people buy millions of jars of commercially produced tomato sauce from grocery stores. This food item is a fundamental building block of our diets. However, cooking fresh tomatoes on the stove to a mouth watering sauce is as easy as it is tasty. While cooking this on the stove-top can have fantastic results, you can take this simple sauce to another level and add an incredible smokey kick to your sauce by going to the grill! We haven’t knowingly eaten commercial tomato sauce for over 15 years. At Barrack Farms we believe that if one follows this simple recipe, all of the commercial sauce producers would go broke very quickly.
Cut up/quarter about 12 medium sized ripe tomatoes. I don’t ever remove skins though that is a matter of debate among sauce makers. Lightly salt & pepper. Drizzle with some good olive oil. Put on grill until edges are well browned and most of the free liquid has cooked away. Usually, that means about an hour and a half at 350 degrees on the grill. Watch it close as it can burn quickly once it reaches the correct consistency. If it does burn on bottom, carefully scrape off the top and carry on. Sound complicated?
Let cool on grill for a couple of hours. Bring inside and put in the blender. If you don’t already have one, look into a hand blender as shown below. Add a bit more salt to taste. This will be some of the best sauce you have ever eaten. But, don’t stop there. Get creative! You can add ingredients to add complexity to the flavor profile like: garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, onion, red wine, Louisiana hot sauce, bit of sugar, anchovy paste (trust me – adds incredible flavor and you’ll never know it’s in there!) just to name a few. My experience has shown that these – especially if fresh – are best added on the stove top as I cook the sauce down to a thicker consistency on the evening that I use it in a recipe.
This roasted tomato sauce can also be done in the oven under the broiler. Give it a try – you will be glad you did. You might even give up that so-called sauce they sell in a jar at the grocery store. Experiment and have fun. We often roast garlic which we use to spread on toasted bread and to use in recipes. You’ll probably also get other ideas for veggies to go on the grill as well. Two of our favorites have been zucchini and Asian eggplant.
Below, notice the look of the finished tomatoes. Garlic cloves from garden in black iron skillet was placed on grill about half and hour before the grill was put out. Garlic was drenched in olive oil and placed alongside tomatoes. This will be blended and additional olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano added to make a sumptuous spread for toasted French bread. Or, add it to any recipe that needs some garlic.