At today’s farmers market you could pretty well sense the seasons turning. Marketgoers swarmed the ripe tomatoes, perhaps contemplating a last Caprese salad. There were deals to be had: Tonnemaker offered their flavorful heirloom tomatoes at 10 lbs for $15, and Billy’s luscious seconds were 20 lbs for $25. On a square of cardboard somebody had written, “Great for sauce! Perfect for canning! Tomatoes all winter!” There was a certain frenzy — or was that anxiety? — in the air.
Indeed, you can feel in your bones that fall has arrived. But there’s still something delicious about these last few warm days. Maybe it’s knowing that the flavor and brightness of summer will soon be gone, that all you can do is savor what we have now.
Recipe Refurb: Basic Tomato Sauce
3 lbs tomatoes / 1 onion, minced / 2 cloves garlic / 1 carrot, minced / 5 leaves fresh basil, minced / 1 bay leaf
Blanch the tomatoes by dropping in boiling water for 30-40 seconds. A crack should form across the tomato skin. Remove and cool tomatoes then slip off skins.
Heat a heavy pot over medium. Swirl in vegetable oil. When oil is warmed add onion, garlic, and carrot celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring some. Add basil, bay leaf, and peeled tomatoes (I like seeds in, but you can squeeze them out), and simmer with lid off for an hour. Remove bay leaf, then puree sauce on ‘pulse’ mode in a food processor. Makes about 6 cups. Use some towards penne alla vodka.