Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

Red Wine Tomato Sauce

I’ve been having a tomato adventure lately.  In the last four weeks (and I kid you not), I’ve picked approximately 120lbs of delicious tomatoes that have naturalized themselves in my boyfriend’s parents’ garden.
This is only a fraction of what I’ve picked:

Holy tomato!

Now the Tomato Adventure of 2012 continues by… me cooking with them!

For just two people I’d cut this recipe in half.  I’m making big batches so I can freeze food for later.


  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey (substitute mushrooms here if you’re meatless)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 8 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 12 basil leaves (I have no idea what this would be converted into dried)
  • 20 oregano leaves (maybe a teaspoon or two dried?)
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • small sprig of rosemary (maybe 1/2 teaspoon dried?)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar

What I did:

  • Saute the onion in the olive oil on medium heat while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  I highly suggest throwing everything but the optional meat, the bay leaves, and the rosemary sprig into a food processor or blender.  Give the onions a good 10 minutes to soften up.
  • Turn the heat up to med/high and brown the meat in the pan with the onions  if you’re using it.  Or throw in at least 1lb of sliced mushrooms.  Add the red wine and let it bubble for a bit to burn off the alcohol.
  • Pour in everything else and turn the heat down to med/low.
  • Let it simmer for 3-5 hours.  Fish out the rosemary sprig and bay leaves before serving.

This tastes pretty wine-y to Michael and me, but were don’t drink alcohol so we’re probably just not used to the flavor.  Definitely add the sweetener!  That really helped to balance out the wine.


Tuscan Tomato-Basil Soup

It’s finally tomato time!  A long rainy season and a cold summer have put off our tomato crop by about a month, but the wait was worth it.  I plucked two pounds of beautiful romas from my garden today and am lucky enough to have potatoes and basil from past CSA boxes.

Tuscan Tomato-Basil Soup  (from the CSA email, edited on 10/1/12 with my own additions.)

serves 4


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 C chopped onions
  • 1 chopped celery stalk
  • 3 or 4 small potatoes (about 14 oz.), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lbs. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 C (or more) water
  • 1 C (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 2-3 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh basil

What to do:

  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  • Add onions & celery and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes.
  • Add potato and sauté until light brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes & garlic and stir until juices form, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth.
  • Return soup to pot.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Thin with additional water, if desired.
  • Stir in the cup of whole basil leaves.
  • Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • Ladle soup into 4 bowls and sprinkle each with a teaspoon of chopped fresh basil.

Simple Salsa

It’s great to finally be able to make fresh salsa from my garden and CSA box!


  • About 10 medium tomatoes
  • 2 bell peppers, any color
  • 2 small red torpedo onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (you can also use fresh lime juice)
  • A small handful of chopped fresh cilantro

Chop everything up, mix it in a bowl, let it chill overnight.  Eating it fresh might cause a little, uh, digestive discomfort.  😉  Letting the juices and flavors meld calms the power of the fresh onion and garlic.

Suggested serving:  take a big tortilla, add shredded cheese, shredded summer squash, and heat it up on a skillet or in the microwave.  When the cheese is melted, add a healthy serving of salsa and enjoy!

What I had around Chili

I love chili.  Toss a few cans of beans and whatever else you happen to have on hand into a slow cooker and 8 hours later you have a tasty, filling meal!


  • 1 can black beans + goo
  • 1 can kidney beans + goo
  • 1 stalk green garlic, minced (or two minced cloves of garlic)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes + juice (or five fresh roma tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning blend of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 diced green bell pepper (this can be added right away, or put under the broiler until tender and added 15 minutes before eating)
  • 3/4 lbs ground turkey (optional)

What I did:

  • Throw it all into a 4 quart slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 8 hours
  • Allow to vent for 15 minutes
  • ENJOY!

I ate mine with a “healthy” helping of cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bagel chips.  M had his with soy cheese.  If I weren’t allergic to avocados, I would totally have chopped some up as a topping.

Simple Red Pasta Sauce

I love that we occasionally get dried herbs in our CSA boxes.  I currently have them hanging in my kitchen from laundry line using clothespins.  It works really well, and gives the space a nice rustic kitchen witch look.  🙂


  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I can’t wait for fresh tomatoes!)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional 1/3 lb ground turkey

What I Did:

  • Put everything but the turkey into a food processor and obliterate it!  I love doing this… it usually brings out an evil scientist cackle from me.
  • Brown the turkey in a large pan.
  • Add the sauce.
  • Simmer on low for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.  If it looks like it’s getting dry, add some more olive oil.
  • Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Harvest Stew

A big thank you to Stephanie O’Dea for trying out 365+ slow cooker recipes and letting all of us know how they turned out!  Being a slow cooker junkie myself, I find her website, A Year of Slow Cooking, very useful.

It just so happened that this weekend I had all the ingredients to make her Harvest Stew.  It’s as good as she says.

In case you don’t feel like clicking over to that site:


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 whole can tomatoes and chilies (rotel)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • salt and pepper to taste

What I Did:

  • Use a big slow cooker (I used my 6 quart).
  • Tip for cutting winter squash: microwave it for two minutes then allow it to cool.  It will be a lot easier to cut and peel!
  • Dump everything in the slow cooker, stir well.
  • Cook on low for 7 hours (until veggies are tender).
  • I actually didn’t have ground turkey when I put this all in the cooker, so I cooked it up later and added it to the stew about an hour before eating.

I’m going to warm up a bowl for dinner right now…

One Hour Pizza

Okay, so I admit that pizza isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of eating healthy.  It also doesn’t quite fit in with local farms or CSA shares, right?

Not exactly, but kind of…

I used CSA onions and garlic in the sauce, then topped the pizza with some CSA fresh parsley.  When the tomatoes start coming in, they’ll be great in the sauce or for toppings, as will fresh bell peppers!  Wilted kale, sauteed onions, fresh basil, sauteed fennel, and artichoke hearts are all items I’ve received in past CSA boxes that would work as pizza toppings.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 pack (2.25 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 F)

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 can tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

What I Did:

  • Mix the dry ingredients for the crust well, then add the warm water and mix until you are able to handle the dough easily.  Here’s where having a stand mixer comes in handy:  I put in the dough hook and let it knead for about 10 minutes.  No need to do this, it will just turn out better if you do.  If you don’t have an awesome stand mixer like mine, pick up your dough, grease the mixing bowl, put the dough back in, and cover it.
  • While dough is kneading/sitting, dice onions and saute them with the olive oil in a medium/large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic about half way through.
  • Put your drained canned tomatoes into a food processor or blender, add the spices, then the onion & garlic.  Blend & put back in the skillet over low heat.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  • Now clean up your mess and prepare your other toppings.  I used some grated fresh mozzarella, all natural Canadian Bacon, parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.
  • Spread out your pizza dough over a pizza pan or large air bake cookie sheet.  This is fun!  I even did that two-fists-in-the-dough thing for a few seconds before I figured I shouldn’t press my luck.  Dropping dough = bad.
  • Top with sauce & your toppings of choice.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

If you do all this efficiently, it should only take you about an hour.  If you have the time, set aside an extra hour to knead your dough (10-12 minutes) and allow it to rise, meanwhile allowing your sauce to simmer.  I didn’t have extra time.  I was hungry.

For only spending one hour on this, it turned out AMAZING!