My garden has had its ups and downs this season, but the one set of plants that has not noticed the heat waves, crazy rain storms, or bug infestations in the container garden to the left are the grape tomatoes and the other mini tomatoes. I’m grouping them all as mini tomatoes because they included grape tomatoes (the majority of the plants), cherry tomatoes, and yellow pear tomatoes for the purpose of this post (and for the tomato sauce recipe.) I go out every day to check on them and I come in with handfuls of mini goodness. They fall off the vine with the tiniest shake, and because there are no pesticides, you can pop them right in your mouth and experience the juicy sweetness immediately. Even with all of this immediate satisfaction, I had five cups of tomatoes in the house and more ripe ones outside. Time to make something with them before they go to waste.
I thought about making a sauce, but then I thought with all of those skins, it will take a lot of work to peel them before cooking, or pull them out of the sauce after cooking and I wasn’t in the mood. And then I had an idea: If I put whatever sauce I make in the food processor, the skins won’t be an issue and it would make the preparation super easy. So here is the easiest, most delicious sauce ever made (at least in my house, but seriously, it is beyond good). Of course I started with tomatoes straight off the vine, but if you don’t have a garden, try it with organic tomatoes from the supermarket. Try purchasing a mix of grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, but don’t go any bigger as I think the crazy goodness comes in these small packages. Okay, here we go…
Roasted Grape Tomato Sauce
Makes 2 cups (4 servings)
(Click here to print this recipe)
5 cups of an assortment of mini tomatoes, mostly grape and/or cherry
5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil (or about 8 leaves)
pepper to taste
Wash your tomatoes. If they are store-bought, chances are they had some sort of pesticide on them and we don’t want to eat pesticides, do we?
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place your tomatoes into a 9×13 glass baking dish in a single layer. Next, peel 5 cloves of garlic and smash them slightly with the broad side of your knife.
Add the garlic to the baking dish. Drizzle the tomatoes and garlic with the olive oil and sprinkle the salt on top. Add a dash of pepper now, or you can wait until after the roasting process to taste and see if you need it.
Roast the tomatoes for 45 minutes until the juices are released from the tomatoes and the garlic is soft. Because my tomatoes were very fresh, they had a high water content. If your store-bought ones begin to dry out, add 1/4 cup of water at a time. You want to avoid burning the tomatoes, but give them the chance to release their juices and get all wrinkly. After 45 minutes has passed, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool slightly. Try not to eat all of the roasted tomatoes while they are cooling. Believe me, it will test your willpower.
Once the mixture has cooled slightly, pour it into a food processor with the basil and blend until you reach your desired consistency. I made mine on the smoother side so that there would be no chunks of garlic left and so that the basil would be small and unable to be detected by picky eaters.
And that’s it – easy as pie. Easier than pie! And really crazy-delicious. I would recommend consuming this sauce within 3 days as there are no preservatives in it, nor was it canned to preserve it. Canning sauce will have to be a lesson for another day.
The only down side to this recipe is that it yields 2 cups of sauce, making it enough for only four meals. That jar you see above? I could drink that in one sitting. I think I’m going to have to make more sauce!
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