I’m not sure why the desire to post here suddenly gripped me again, but I’m back. I left for a while because I felt overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of food writing on the Internet, and it started to feel somewhat meaningless to throw little drops into the giant pool. But really this has always been a way for me to remind myself of things I enjoyed making, because sometimes in my quest to try new things I forget about things I’ve already discovered. It’s also a reason to take photos and a reason to write about something other than Psychology. So here I am again.
This summer I have felt pretty inspired, food-wise. A friend and I have been splitting a weekly veggie basket from the UC Davis Student Farm CSA, and though it’s been a little repetitive, it has forced me to cook a lot each week and deal with some vegetables I don’t usually purchase. We have had beautiful eggplants (globe and Japanese) that I have used to make eggplant parmesan, awesome eggplant-cannellini hummus, and a really awesome casserole with orzo and mozzarella. I also discovered for the first time that I really enjoy a nice ripe fig.
But my favorite thing about summer produce is the tomatoes. The best way to eat them is sliced thick with slices of fresh mozzarella and basil, or on toast with a little mayonnaise. Or in a grilled cheese sandwich. So good, tomatoes. But I’ve had so many of them that I need to use them faster than I can eat them raw. Also, I don’t really like cherry tomatoes raw so I’ve had to find something to do with them. So, this summer I discovered how ridiculously easy it is to make a really delicious tomato sauce from scratch.
With cherry tomatoes, I don’t cut them in half but I do sort of pierce them so that the juices can run out when they are cooking. With bigger tomatoes, I cut them into quarters. I arrange them all into a casserole dish, and stick cloves of garlic and quartered onions in between. I drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and then roast them at 375 degrees until they have released their juices and pruned up a bit, 25 minutes or so. I let them cool a bit, and then move them with a slotted spoon into a big bowl. I leave about 2/3 of the juice behind because I like my tomato sauce thicker. Then I add handfuls of basil and parsley, and blend the whole thing with a hand-mixer. You can also do this in a food processor, or probably a blender. Then, add salt to taste. It’s properly salted when it tastes really tomato-y.