Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tomato Sludge

When life gives you a glut of tomatoes (happening most summers here in Napa, but NOT this one), and you've run out of make Tomato Sludge!

1. Coat a rimmed cookie sheet generously with olive oil.

 2. Cut your tomatoes, red, green--it matters not, into halves or quarters. Sprinkle with garlic salt, black pepper, basil, oregano (the usual suspects) and a splash of Balsamic vinegar. We are on a spicy food kick right now, so I added some hot chili powder.
 3. Oops, I forgot the garlic. 7-8 cloves, peeled. Toss them in there and bury under the tomatoes so they don't dry out or burn.

4. Cook at 300 degrees for, oh, forever. Probably 3 hours. I started these in the morning, turned the oven off to go to work, came home and turned it on again...they get very soupy. You will use a spatula and turn them every so often. As you turn them, mash the garlic once it's soft. If you run out of patience, crank the heat up to 350 till the sheet looks like this:
 ...not drippy, but still moist.
 5. Pack this into a jar and loll about in your happy smugness. This stuff is so good. It's the base of every pasta sauce, pot roast, bruchetta, pizza, etc. You can (and will) eat it straight from the jar with a spoon.
6. Ta Da! Keeps in the fridge about a month or two. Freezes also, but don't use a jar--it may crack.

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