Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


Roasted Tomato Sauce, A Walk in the Park

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In the day or two before leaving on vacation I’m running around like crazy, and really, I wouldn’t mind a walk in the park. I’ll be in *Desolation Sound, maybe kayaking, maybe swimming or tide pooling as this post is published, but in the meantime I have all these tomatoes on the vine that need attention and a post to write before leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

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I had a couple of those pull your hair out moments when you wonder if putting the vacation together is even worth it. (Oh, it so is.) A pile of tasks and I wanted to create an efficient – aka, get it done in a hurry – post that could be published in my absence, something that would be worthwhile, but take just a minute to write. Voilà. Roasted tomato sauce, since the sauce-making itself also meets the ‘get it done in a hurry’ criteria. I tripped upon this method and it may be the best sauce yet, both for its lusciousness and ease.

Tomatoes continue to flourish in the heat of late summer, and I don’t want to waste a single one. Pressed for time, I roasted a pile of tomatoes a few weeks ago, put them in empty yogurt containers and then the freezer. Quick and easy.  Next time I roasted tomatoes I wondered what I’d get if I pureed them with an immersion blender after roasting. Seeds and skin almost disappeared, and tomatoes were transformed into a smooth silky sauce with the richness of roasting at its heart. Just unbelievably delicious, this is about as easy as it gets if you want to preserve tomatoes as sauce.

This is a reposting of one of our Top Twenty seasonal recipes; the vacation too, from the past, but also worth repeating.

If you don’t have them in the backyard, buy a bunch of tomato ‘seconds’ at the farmers market.


Late Summer’s Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

Fresh tomatoes, amount is variable, but not more than a single layer on the baking sheet, any color, slightly under- or over-ripe are OK too.

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Ingredients: Cut tomatoes into large bite-sized chunks/ 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, chopped/ Olive oil, salt & pepper to taste/ Parchment paper to cover the baking sheet.

Juiciness develops during roasting so use a shallow pan with an edge.

Directions: Place tomatoes on parchment-lined shallow baking pan, sprinkle liberally with olive oil and chopped garlic, salt & pepper/ Roast at 425º for 30-40 minutes – tomatoes should begin to char, liquid reduce/ Remove from oven, and after a few minutes, carefully gather short edges of parchment (creating a sort of funnel), and pour tomatoes and all drippings into a large bowl.

Cool a bit and process in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth or to desired consistency/ It will be thick and gorgeous – liquid can be added later to thin sauce as needed/ Freeze, can, or use immediately. I roasted two batches, two baking pans full, which yielded a little more than 2 quarts of sauce that’s imbued with the flavors of garlic and olive oil, salt & pepper.

There’s just a hint of seed and skin in the background. See what you think. Run it through a sieve before freezing to eliminate all of that. I happen to like it and think the pureed seeds and skin are healthy background noise. * 8/2015 update: Run blended roasted tomatoes through a fine sieve as a final step. Takes just a few minutes and eliminates hundreds of seeds.

I added a 1/2 cup of milk to a cup of this sauce the other day, reheated it and had the most amazing bowl of tomato soup. I thought I’d died and gone to, well, Desolation Sound. How sweet it is.  From this base there’s pizza sauce, marinara, soup, pasta dishes every which way . . . Freeze in quart containers or process in canning jars and put them in the pantry.

Enjoy the waning days of summer – it will be autumn soon.


*Desolation Sound – if this is desolation then bring it on! Captain Vancouver, possibly manic depressive goes the story, was in a deep depression when he ‘discovered’ and named the Sound. On the coastline of British Columbia, about 210 miles north of Seattle, and maybe 100 miles north of Vancouver, B.C., it’s spectacular, somewhat isolated, certainly not desolate. We’re grateful to be here.

Oyster in the wild  Kayaking Desolation Sound  Mink, 2012  7359


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14 Responses »

  1. I made this tonight to put on top of some stuffed chili peppers. It’s by far the easiest and best tomato sauce I’ve ever made. Thanks for discovering it!

  2. sounds delicious, i may have to pick up more tomatoes at the farmers market, as my own garden collection has been a bit meagre this year. hope you have fun in desolation sound – you will be just across the way from my home in the comox valley.

  3. K, I’m your neighbor for the moment here on the B.C. coast, though west of where you are, and truthfully I want to stay forever. And yes, try to get hold of some tomatoes and make this sauce for winter. I wish I could just hand you a jar.
    Poppy, I love it that you tried this and like it so much. It’s worth swooning over isn’t it?

  4. I’m so inspired that I’m plotting my trip to the farmer’s market. Thank you!! Desolation Sound!… sounds like the perfect place to be enjoying these lovely fall days. Can’t wait to see some photos.

  5. Sally,

    Welcome home.
    I just made this with my latest round of Sungold harvest (combined with some not-so-tasty Roma’s). What a delicious and simple way to savor the summer through the winter. I also blended some with red bells, cukes, a little vinegar and crusty bread for a kind of Gazpacho. It was fantastic cold that way, too.

  6. this sounds just like almost all my summer endeavors that swirl around every weekend’s activities and especially vacations! i can’t waste a thing in my garden and have found that this method of roasting in the oven [or on the bbq if it’s a hot day and you don’t want to heat up your house] and then pureeing is the best! after a great summer harvest the last two years [not as good this year], i am sure i still had 500 lbs of tomatoes on the vine in late september. i had tons of food ready to for the long winter, but still so much to deal with out in the garden. sooooo i roasted for two weeks – just took them from the oven, put them into glass jars, and right into the freezer. all winter long we thaw our jars of roasted tomato, pepper, garlic, herbs and onion concoctions and turned them into literally hundreds of different recipes; soups, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, chili, dips, spreads – you name it. they make great gifts too – the jars are really beautiful when you have different colored tomatoes, herbs and whole cloves of garlic.

  7. Ohhh…I know what I’m picking up at the FM next weekend. I’m going to try canning it since I don’t have a lot of room in my apartment fridge for freezing but somehow the place actually has a little pantry just waiting to get filled up.

  8. Diana, for those of us who love food, especially tomatoes, there’s not a more beautiful sight than those crimson jars winking at you from the pantry. Enjoy.

  9. Saw your roasted tomato sauce recipe via pinterest. I’m making a similar version, found a recipe from Jamie Oliver and it included fresh (or dried) oregano, same thyme, and a cup of chopped onions. I am going to add some basil as well from our garden. I’m using a mix of full sized and cherry tomatoes (sungolds, sweet millions, sweet 100’s, etc). Looking fwd to the blending part! Smells yummo in the oven.

    Maybe I’ll save the basil and make a small pesto batch? hmmm.

  10. Hi Sally, I am so enjoying having my greenhouse filled with tomatoes. I’m on my 5th batch of this sauce which is delicious. And I’m using my garlic from the garden which is makes this doubly satisfying. Easy enough that no tomato is wasted—- altho with the number I just pop into my mouth we go through many before they even hit the kitchen. Hope your garden and summer are going well. J

  11. Joan, speaking of eating tomatoes off the vine, I was wondering just this afternoon if a person could get tomato poisoning. If so, I must be pushing that edge. Must save some for this sauce, because mid-winter it’s so good.

  12. Heh Poppy, thank you SO MUCH for linking me over here …. definitely gonna roast me some tomaties like this and freeze for winter use. Sounds divine!!


  13. Christi, Thanks for stopping by!


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