September 7, 2020 

We went to Black Cat’s first ever U-pick event today and ended up with enough tomatoes and basil to do a couple of fantastic dishes. 1st up was a dish from Thomas Keller’s Ad hoc at home - Iceberg Lettuce Slices with blue cheese dressing, oven roasted tomatoes, bacon and brioche croutons. The tomatoes are oven roasted with a bit of thyme, olive oil salt and pepper at 200 °F for six hours! Then a Cook’s Illustrated classic - Simple Tomato sauce.

Here’s the finished oven roasted tomatoes. This was simply amazing and these tomatoes were turned up to 11! Wow!! The fresh picked tomatoes didn’t really need this treatment, but they were concentrated into super tomatoes. The one at the bottom right was a super market roma and it was turned from blah to TOMATO!

Here’s the mise en place of the simple tomato sauce.

You have to seed the tomatoes to keep the sauce from getting too bitter.

The seeded tomatoes, ready for the blender!

Since the skins are left on for extra flavor, blending the sauce smooth takes a while!

The sauce at the start of the reduction, it needs to be reduced by more than half, to about 40% of the original volume, so a bit of measuring is needed.

The finished sauce. The basil doesn’t go in until right at the end, of course. That and a little olive oil completed the sauce.