Archive for August 30th, 2010

August 30, 2010

Last of the (Famous International) Tomatoes

Super fresh tomatoes give the puree a lovely orange color.

We’re on the cusp of September and the tomato plants are on their last legs.  There are still a ton of green tomatoes on the vines, but I wonder if we’ll have enough hot days to turn the rest.  My guess is not.  I’ll take this as an opportunity to learn how to make stuff besides fried green tomatoes.

But winding down the summer, I can reminisce over all we’ve used our tomatoes for: some pretty tasty tomato and peach panzanella salads, sausage (we love ones from Bluescreek Farm Meats)with roasted tomatoes peppers, omelettes with tomato compote, and super simple, super fast tomato and basil sauce over pasta.  No dish was earth shattering in its creativity, to be sure, but oh my is it tasty.  I always feel a little sad when summer comes to end because the tomatoes will be gone.  Ah, seasons.

We cook pretty casually around here.  If you’ve got an hour to let something roast in the oven, now’s the perfect time of year to cook this:

Italian Sausages with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions

1 pound of Italian sausages (combination of sweet and hot)

1 large yellow onion, sliced in thick rounds

2 large bell peppers, deseeded and cut into wide strips

3 medium sized (or 1 large or heck a couple of handfuls of cherry sized) tomatoes

1 or two cloves of garlic, smashed, fresh thyme (if you’ve got it in your garden or feel like buying it), a bay leaf or two

Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Place sausages, onions, peppers and tomatoes (cut up in large-ish chunks), garlic, thyme and bay in a large roasting pan.  Drizzle a good amount of olive oil and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar over the veg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss together with your (clean, of course) hands and then rearrange to place the sausages back on top of the veg.  Slide in a 350 oven (preheated or not, who cares? it’s not a cake) for about an hour, to an hour and ten minutes.  Give the pan a shake and turn the sausages over half way through if you remember.

If you’ve got the desire to be a bit posh about it, and you’ve got more tomatoes than you know what to do with, puree four cups of diced tomatoes (chef’s choice) in the blender (throw a bell pepper in there if you want), reduce over low-ish heat in a sauce pan, at the last minute, whisk in some good olive oil, a pinch or two of sugar, and a good amount of salt and pepper. 

To serve with the sauce, put a ladle of sauce in a shallow bowl, top with a pile of the roasted veg and a sausage or two.  Good bread is almost an essential. 

We served this with PBR tall boys and thought it was just fine.

Playlist included Last of the International Playboys by Morissey.

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