Condiments & Sauces – Mixed Greens Blog Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest Thu, 14 Sep 2017 22:20:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Feast Mode: Come Join Our Thanksgiving Table Sun, 16 Nov 2014 13:38:04 +0000 Theoretically speaking, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be cranberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, Brussel’s sprouts, Waldorf salad, biscuits, butter, whipped cream . . . all that, plus. Theoretically. A few years ago I saw a country vegetable garden with this sign outside the gate: Dear Deer, It’s almost Thanksgiving and it doesn’t have to be Turkey this year. Keep Out!

Over the years Poppy and I have cooked all kinds of Thanksgiving foods and posted many of them on Mixed Greens. We invite you to our table. Peruse the menu of possibilities and choose anything you’d like to try, or to make again because it was so good the last time. Choose two or three if you want. It goes without saying that there’s a nap on the menu too.

Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner


Roasted Cranberry Sauce        Sweet Potato Biscuits         Pumpkin Pie From Scratch

Celery Root Puree      crispy shallots     caramelized shallots

Celery Root Puree                      Crispy Shallots                   Caramelized Shallots

Roasted Sweet Potatoes             Turkey Gravy                    Cranberry Gin & Tonic


Brussell’s Sprouts               Cranberry Upsidedown Cake         PNW Waldorf Salad


Turkey Soup Anytime       Something Green On the Side          Moroccan Turkey

Alton Brown is emphatic about how to roast a turkey: Brine your turkey – he does it in a large cooler along with some ice. Don’t stuff it! No need to baste. Keep the oven door closed as much as possible. If you’d like to be bossed around a little more about Alton’s way to roast a turkey, check out his recipe. I heard him carry forth on NPR the other night and it was impressive. He was decisive, which is a lot more than I can say for myself when it comes to how to best roast a turkey.

We’re grateful for you all dear readers. May your meal be as local as possible and delicious, your table lively and loving.

Water flows over these hands. May we use them skillfully to preserve our precious planet.

                              Earth Prayers From Around the World, Thich Nhat Hanh

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Homemade Not-Too-Hot Hot Sauce Mon, 09 Jun 2014 00:02:19 +0000 It’s all relative. This hot sauce has plenty of heat, but the recipe is about flavor first, heat second. Go for the burn with more seeds and another hot pepper or ten.

hot sauce #3

hot sauce 2

Talk about heat. We had a family reunion/graduation celebration just over a week ago in Rincon, Puerto Rico, where it’s hot in more ways than sauce. The climate, definitely, the women, the men, their fashion, their music, their salsa . . .  My second trip in a year and I can’t help feeling a little bland. One tries to become hotter, to fit in, but some things just weren’t meant to be. However, family living in PR for the past two years? They’re becoming hotter by the minute. Hey guys! Yeah you.

A year ago I was introduced to John & Roz’ passion for hot sauce. So much heat, not really my deal, but the flavor was a delicious surprise. I started using hot sauce sparingly for its taste. Just a little heat was enough: a dab with eggs, on fish or chicken tacos; in soup and stew; salad dressing; in certain beverages. In Puerto Rico dinner tables are festooned with hot sauce options. Choose your favorite or use them all. This recipe is potentially a mildish version, plus it’s homemade and can be kid-friendly. Use it with abandon for its flavor and make it hot, or not.

I know. Many of you have been using hot sauce forever – me, the late bloomer again.

Speaking of blooms. Vashon Island Garden Tour is happening in two weeks. Worth it for the island vibe alone, picnicing possibilities, not to mention great gardens. Two-minute video explains all.

When I found this Mark Bittman recipe the timing was perfect. Read his excellent article about chiles, or an excerpt below. Bittman’s deal with this recipe is to let the chile flavor shine instead of so much heat, though you can regulate more or less by leaving more seeds in the mix. And Pati’s Mexican Table website is a great source of information about chiles.

Chile-Tomato Not-Too-Hot Sauce

hot sauce 6

Not too hot is the point of this sauce. When a recipe tester suggested an optional serrano chile if cooks yearned for more spice, Mark Bittman said nope.



  • 6 guajillo or ancho chiles
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup distilled white or apple cider vinegar


  • Boil 3 cups of water. Put chiles in a large skillet over medium heat and toast, turning once, until fragrant, 2 or 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chiles to a bowl, pour boiling water over them and soak until soft and pliable, 15 to 30 minutes. Remove stems and as many seeds as you like (the fewer you remove, the hotter the sauce will be). Roughly chop them, and reserve soaking liquid
  • Put oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add chiles, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, honey, salt and pepper.
  • Adjust heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick, 10 to 20 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a blender with the vinegar. Purée until completely smooth, adding more vinegar or a splash of the chile-soaking liquid if you want it thinner. Pour into a glass bottle or jar, cool completely and refrigerate up to a week.

hot sauce

YIELD About 2 cups
My Notes: I followed this recipe almost exactly. Almost. I used 3 anchos, 1 jalapeño, 1/2 of a serrano and a red chili. All seeds removed. It’s what I had and I checked for heat as I went. I added 1/3 C of the soaking liquid when blending and a tablespoon more of apple cider vinegar. Yielded 3 cups, one in the freezer. Just the right amount of heat for us and lots of flavor. We love it. I’ve already added a couple of spoonfuls to a ripe avocado to make instant guacamole; plan to embellish almost any bowl of soup with a spoonful; also with roast chicken thighs or breasts. Just before they’re done, remove from oven and put chile-tomato sauce on each piece for the final 10 minutes of roasting. The pan juices will be imbued with the flavors of the hot sauce as well as each piece of chicken. Sprinkle pan juices over chicken and rice or quinoa when serving.
hot sauce 3
An excerpt from Bittman’s 6/4/14 NY Times article:
To me, there is no prettier sight than a counter loaded with chiles: long, mild, fresh red or green ones. (In New York, we’d call the former “Korean” and the latter “Anaheim.”) And then a few of the never-ending supply of fresh and incredibly inexpensive poblanos, those gorgeous dark green babies that so perfectly straddle hot and not, as well as anchos, which are the same models, only dried. And finally, a variety of dried chiles, California or New Mexico, guajillo, mulato and pasilla in all colors: red, black, beige or the characteristic burnt black chiles, a result of a process I’d not recommend trying at home; it can bring on a form of instant bronchitis. Buy them already blackened.
There are a couple of steps before you plunge in; one is optional, one essential. The optional one is roasting, or toasting. This makes a difference even with dried chiles, and even if you’re going to be cooking them anyway. Just a few moments over a gentle fire, or in a skillet, or even in a hot oven, will release complex aromas that may otherwise remain hidden. Fresh chiles, of course, benefit mightily from roasting because although it isn’t essential, it’s nice to discard the skins, just as it is with roasted bell peppers. Which brings us to heat. Any chile, even a mild bell pepper, can contain some heat. And that heat is stored variously in the seeds, stems, veins and skin, all of which can be removed. With dried chiles, the process is easy: Just break the thing open, get rid of the seeds and stem and, if the chile is moist enough, tear out the veins. By doing this, you’ve really disarmed the thing and rendered most chiles safe to eat in the quantity that will allow you to enjoy their flavor
Resurrecting Rhubarb-Thyme Jam, Pie, & Alice’s Soufflé Sun, 20 Apr 2014 18:46:04 +0000 Want something sassy and hot pink for supper? In a word, rhubarb: rhubarb-thyme jam (like a chutney), and rhubarb pie. Preceded by a light and airy, easy-to-make souffle. Aaaah, springtime.

stalks of fresh rhubarbrhubarb

We never think to smell the rhubarb, it has way too much competition right about now, but we should. It’s a robust and gorgeous big-boned gal (thank you K.D. Lang) whose hot pink underpinnings are the fruit of delicious culinary offerings. Our backyard rhubarb matures on the early side, has been around maybe twenty-five years now and provides abundant, deliciously sour stalks through most of June. By then it’s lost its fresh demeanor and is decidedly less appealing. I can assure any Pacific Northwesterner – including much of the northern hemisphere – that you’ll find rhubarb at Farmers Markets, in backyards, and in grocery stores starting about now. Whatever Easter may mean for you, let it include something with rhubarb, which is resurrecting itself at this very moment.

I’m making a birthday rhubarb pie for Poppy today (recipe below). If you’re not into pie-making there’s this rhubarb-thyme jam that’s quick and delicious with a nib of cheese on a cracker, with lamb or pork. Plus, it’s sassy and hot pink. Something rhubarb, along with Alice Water’s goat cheese souffle. Happy Spring.

Rhubarb-Thyme Jam Recipe

rhubarb thyme jam

Recipe created by Becky Selengut at Cornucopia.

rhubarb thyme jam

Ingredients: 3 C rhubarb, medium dice from about 3 large stalks/ 1 T ginger, grated/ 1 stick cinnamon/ 1 T fresh thyme, chopped/ 10 grinds black pepper/ 1/2 t salt/ 1/3 C champagne vinegar/ 1/4 C honey, or more to taste/ 1 t lemon zest.

Directions: Put all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes until thickened. Remove cinnamon stick and cool the jam in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with a selection of local cheese, lamb or pork.


Rhubarb Pie ‘Recipe’

rhubarb pie 3

rhubarb pie rhubarb pie 2

An anecdotal recipe: Make a two-crust pie dough of your choice. I often use Alice Waters’ recipe, which you can find via this link – scroll to mid-page. For the rhubarb filling: Combine 5 – 6 C rhubarb, cut into approximately 1/2-inch chunks, 1 1/2 C sugar (can be a mix of white and brown sugars), 1/4 C flour for thickener, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t cinnamon and 1 t lemon zest (both optional). Stir the rhubarb mixture together and let it stand while you roll out the dough. Put it all together, bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes (with a cookie sheet beneath for possible juice overflow), lower to 350 for another 35-50 minutes or until crust is browned and rhubarb is bubbling. Allow pie to cool at least partially, then enjoy a quintessential springtime dessert. Maybe wish somebody Happy Birthday.

Alice Water’s Goat Cheese Soufflé Recipe


From The Art of Simple Food. This recipe was quick and easy to follow, each batch was mixed and in the oven in under twenty minutes. I made the full recipe, then cut it in half, used various cheeses in addition to goat, added a pinch of this and that on a whim – it all worked. Make it local: Port Madison Farm goat cheese (, Beecher’s Flagship cheddar, Mt Townsend Cirrus or Trailhead, Rogue River Blue, each was delicious; Stoney Plains Organic Farm eggs, Organic Valley milk.

Ingredients & Directions: Goat Cheese Soufflé, 4 servings

Soufflé Base: Melt 5 T butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat/Stir in and cook 3 T flour for 2 minutes/ Whisk in 1 C milk, little by little, whisking thoroughly between addition/ Season with salt, black pepper, a pinch of cayenne, 1 thyme sprig, leaves only/ Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes/ Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Separate 4 eggs/ Stir the yolks into the cooled white sauce/ Add 4 ounces soft, mild goat cheese/ Stir in and taste for salt/ It should be ever so slightly too salty to make up for the unsalted whites, which will be added later/ Preheat the oven to 375ºF/ Butter 1-quart soufflé dish, or another baking dish such as a gratin dish, with 1 tablespoon soft butter.

Whip the egg whites into moist firm peaks/ Stir one third of the whites into the soufflé base/ Then gently fold the base into the rest of the egg whites, taking care not to deflate them/ Pour the mixture into the buttered dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden, but still soft in the center and jiggly when shaken gently.

Serve immediately and savor the beauty of a soufflé and its melting in your mouth.

Note: Fill baking dishes about ¾ full, bake large soufflés in a 375ºF oven for 35-40 minutes; bake individual smaller soufflés at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Resist the urge to peak while they bake.

I’m a little smitten over soufflé now that I’ve made these few. It took a long time for us to get together, but I think it’s going to work out. I happily share the infatuation.

Cauliflower, Asparagus, Spices & Spring Mon, 07 Apr 2014 00:20:26 +0000 Aloo Gobi, a standard of Indian cuisine, has had my attention for a while now, a combination of cauliflower, potatoes, sometimes peas, cooked together with a piquant combination of a chef’s favored spices, garam masala. With this in mind, I bought a head of cauliflower the other day, a year-round brassica, especially appreciated in winter, and some organic asparagus, steadfastly of early spring.

CauliflowerAloo Gobi

On the cusp of winter, just passed, and now early spring, a meal centered around Aloo Gobi is adaptable to both, or all seasons. A cavalier attitude about ingredients seems justified, encouraged even, when you know that there are versions of Aloo Gobi from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, and elsewhere, made unique and extraordinary by each chef and home cook. Pretty sure that my adding asparagus and chives won’t undermine this classic.

 Aloo Gobi (Spicy Cauliflower & Potatoes) Recipe

Aloo Gobi ingredients

Serves 4.

Ingredients: 1 small – medium head of cauliflower, rinsed and florets separated/ 2 medium potatoes, medium dice/3 cloves finely chopped or pressed garlic, 3 t grated fresh ginger/Ancho chili, optional. Seeds removed and chopped to make 1 – 2 t, or a piece kept whole and removed before serving/ 2 T peanut oil, divided/ 1 T ground coriander, 1/2 t ground turmeric/ 1 t cumin seed, 1/2 t black mustard seed/ 1 C water, divided/ Salt & pepper to taste/ 1/2# fresh asparagus, roasted or steamed/ 3 T chopped, fresh chives.

Aloo Gobi Aloo Gobi 2

Also: Frozen peas, thinly sliced sweet pepper and onion are good additions if you have them on hand. Add peppers or onion to pan along with cauliflower and potatoes; add frozen peas to the pan for last few minutes of cooking. Double or triple the paste mixed with spices, refrigerate the extra and embellish whatever’s cooking with these amazing flavors.

Directions: Using a mortar and pestle, or a small grinder, mix garlic, ginger and half of the peanut oil to form a thick paste/ Add other spices, half of the water (1/2 C) to this mix, stir together and set aside/ In a sauce pan, heat the other tablespoon of oil to medium hot, add cumin and mustard seeds and allow them to sizzle momentarily/ Add spice paste, turn heat to medium low, and while stirring, allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes/ Add cauliflower and potatoes, sweet or hot pepper if using/ Stir together so that vegetables are coated with the spices/ Add the other 1/2 C water, place a lid on, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender/ Remove lid and simmer for another 5 minutes/ If vegetables are done, remove them from the pan and continue to simmer the sauce until it reduces and thickens slightly – just a minute or two/ Add roasted asparagus to the bowl/ Spoon sauce over winter and spring veggies, sprinkle with chives.

Aloo Gobi

Dig in and relish the change of season. For a meal, serve Aloo Gobi with coconut rice: substitute coconut milk for all or part of the usual liquid, water or stock; sprinkle with halved or finely chopped cashews when serving. And a bowl of raita made with cucumber, sweet onion, or carrots would be good.

There are many versions of Aloo Gobi, perhaps as many as there are chefs in the world, but the inspiration for this one came from Aarti Sequeira.

Jamie Oliver’s Aloo Gobi, which I’ll try next time.

Aloo Gobi

Both winter and spring produce featured here, but make no mistake, spring has blossomed!

spring blossoms


Compound Butter It Up Mon, 24 Feb 2014 19:28:16 +0000 Like in jazz, it’s fusion, man. We love our butter. Compound it by adding a few special ingredients and it can make a simple dish swing.

compound butters #2 1cornbread

A pat of roasted garlic and jalapeño butter on corn bread; a compound butter on a baguette; mixed with hot pasta or rice; spread on the outside of a cheese sandwich, any sandwich, before grilling; roasted pieces of chicken embellished with a pat or two, same with fish, scrambled eggs, potatoes, zucchini, fresh corn, a pan of roasted broccoli, carrots . . . The great thing about compound butter as an ingredient is that you can make a batch, keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks and use it as needed. Make up your own versions. It’ll add zing to a simple meal. Plus, it’s butter.

Just to get you going, here are a few ideas from The Tassajara Bread Cookbook – and Alice Waters’ basic cornbread recipe.

 Tassajara Cookbook Compound Butter Recipes

Modifications are starred.*

compound butters

Roasted Garlic and Hot Chili Butter

Ingredients: 3/4 C salted butter, softened/3 or 4 cloves garlic, oven-roasted in their skins until soft/ 1 1/2 t red pepper flakes (* Or, 1/8 t Chipotle chili powder instead)/ Salt to taste.

Directions: Squeeze softened cooked garlic into bowl with butter and chili/ Mix thoroughly with a fork/ Add a pinch of salt if needed/ Refrigerate until ready to use/ Or, on a piece of waxed paper, roll into a log, wrap and refrigerate until hard/ Cut off a pat at a time as needed.

Lime and Cilantro Butter

Ingredients: 3/4 C salted butter, softened/ Juice and zest of 1 lime/ 1/2 C chopped, fresh cilantro/ *A pinch of chipotle?/ Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions: Same as above. Mix all ingredients thoroughly, refrigerate.

Lemon Mustard Butter

Ingredients: 1/2 C (1 cube) salted butter, softened/ 1 1/2 t Dijon mustard/ 1 to 2 T fresh lemon juice/ Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions: Same as above. Mix all ingredients thoroughly, refrigerate.

Sweet Butters

Ingredients & Directions: Same as above, using 1 or 2 cubes of softened butter/ Add: 2 T honey, a little fresh lemon juice; or 3 T sweetened cocoa & 1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg/ Mix and refrigerate/ Use on toast, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, . . .

Maybe this gets your imagination going. There are a zillion ways to jazz up your butter. Compound it.


Alice Waters’ Corn Bread Recipe

From Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food Cookbook. This is a really good excuse for Roasted Garlic and Hot Chili Butter. Takes about 10 minutes to mix by hand, 20 minutes in the oven.

Ingredients:  1 3/4 C cornmeal and flour; can be a mix of 1 1/4 C cornmeal and 1/2 C flour (or all cornmeal or any other combination)/ 1 T sugar (optional)/ 1 T baking powder/ 3/4 t salt/ 1 C milk/ 1 egg/ 4 T (1/2 stick) butter, melted/ Additional optional ingredients: 1/3 C corn, 1/4 C coarsely chopped green chilies, 1/3 C grated cheddar cheese (add less salt), 1/2 Chipotle chili powder.

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees/ In the oven, melt an additional 2 T butter in cast iron skillet, 8 or 9-inch round or loaf pan/ Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix/ Stir milk and egg together/ Melt butter in microwave or on stove top/ Add milk and egg to dry ingredients and mix/ Add butter and mix/ Stir in any ‘extra’ ingredients/ Pour mixture into hot buttered pan and place immediately in oven/ Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick test shows that it’s done in the center/ Best served hot out of the oven – with a compound butter.

A 10-inch (#8) cast iron pan accommodates a double batch just fine. Bake it a little longer.


The Other Olive Oil . . . California’s Mon, 27 Jan 2014 01:00:39 +0000 Vatican's olive tree

I’ve taken a circuitous route to olive oil, beginning with the pig, followed eventually by the fruit of the Mediterranean.

Whenever she cooked bacon, which was several times a week, my grandmother saved the drippings in a small aluminum container that had its own built in ‘filter’ in the top. Any bits would remain in the filter and whatever dripped through would be pure bacon grease. Not appealing to some, but pure heaven to those of us who ate my grandmother’s food. She fried steak in bacon grease, potatoes, embellished green beans with a spoonful, and used it to make her wilted green salad, a salad which as a young child I loved. Kudos to bacon grease.  Still true, though I’ve added olive oil to my repertoire. (Though no bacon ice cream for me. There are limits.)


Olives and their oil are not my grandmother’s bacon drippings, but they’re equally delicious. Pork fat, by the way, has come into its own again as a ‘safe’ fat, and some say we should be eating it for its benefits. Likewise with olive oil, its origins the drippings of the olive.

Mixed Greens’ primary focus is about encouraging ourselves and others to eat seasonally, locally and sustainably whenever possible – at least keeping it in mind when consuming whatever and making thoughtful choices. Olive oil and the Mediterranean are ageless and we’re smitten with their history, but there is the other olive oil . . . the California variety. The one that comes from a few hundred miles south of here. California’s Olive Oils Challenge Europe’s , NY Times, October 26, 2011.

December-January 6

Domestic and imported versions look almost the same, are almost the same. However, one was transported five to six thousand miles to arrive in PNW grocery stores, the other more like seven hundred miles. One is steeped in romance and ancient history, the other not so much, though California has a little olive oil history of its own. Olive trees were originally planted at Spanish missions there in the 18th century, thrived for a while and then languished during most of the twentieth century. Clearly there’s a revival happening. Italian, Greek and Spanish oils are not easily abandoned, but we do have a domestic alternative that deserves consideration.

I’ve heard rumors that there may be a gutsy B.C. farmer willing to try growing olive trees. It sounds crazy, but there’s more and more evidence about the variety of foods we’ve given up trying to grow that we might grow successfully again. PNW olive groves may or may not be one of them. So, what’s the point? If you enjoy the taste and health benefits of olive oil, and wish to find ways to diminish your carbon footprint and the affects of global warming, then domestic olive oil is something to consider. Or, you could buy a pound of locally produced bacon every couple of weeks!

While you’re thinking about it all, try this herbaceous mix with a delicious loaf of bread.

dried tomatoes in olive oil

Pour a little dish of olive oil (from California?) and add to it a few morsels from the garden: a sprig of rosemary, a smashed clove of garlic, bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Dried Sungold tomatoes from last summer are a luxurious addition. Dive in with a piece of bread, take a bite, savor it and be grateful that seven-hundred-mile olive oil is an option and about five thousand miles closer than the admittedly luscious imports from southern Europe.

.December-January 26

California olive oil can be found in most grocery stores, including  organic Napa Valley Olive Oil (the Napa Valley Naturals brand), and there are options to explore online. Links below are a source of additional information.

Recent New York Times magazine article, Visiting the Source: Olive Oil.

California Olive Oil Council

Napa Valley Naturals


This post is a Mixed Greens blast from the past, originally posted in 2009.

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Roasted Tomato Sauce, A Walk in the Park Mon, 02 Sep 2013 00:00:16 +0000  tomatoes-on-the-vine-2 tomatoes-on-the-vine-1

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.

tomatoes-on-the-vine-4 tomatoes-on-the-vine-3

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.

roasted-tomato-sauce-1 roasted-tomato-sauce-3 roasted-tomato-sauce-4 roasted-tomato-sauce-5

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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Summer’s Savory Granitas Mon, 29 Jul 2013 01:12:58 +0000 horseradish granita

Happy Hour heaven. The raw oysters at Tilikum Place Cafe  last week, served with horseradish granita, were an exquisite treat. Done deal, I thought. I’ll make some and regale my raw oyster-loving husband with a smashing shellfish meal. Score some points. Maybe not as good as Tilikum Place Cafe’s, but good enough. Gathered around a table with four women friends, we ordered to share and the oysters came first. The tangy horseradish granita embellished perfectly tender, succulent oysters. Consuming raw oysters is always an event, but these were exceptional, and their horseradish granita the ideal summertime accompaniment.

Those spectacular oysters were from Taylor Shellfish Farms,  available at Melrose Market in Seattle and at Tilikum Place Cafe. Other places too. Check out their website.

After seeing this post, my mixologist friend Charlie sent a link to Saveur magazine’s website where granitas were featured in the July issue. More great granita ideas.

bloody mary granita

Horseradish Granita would be good in other ways too. In a bloody Mary, with BC spot prawns, a dollop in a bowl of cool borscht or gazpacho.

And there’s Bloody Mary Granita. Summertime adult-cocktail snow cones. Hello! Put some in a glass and eat it with a spoon, or add a tablespoon to a traditional Bloody Mary and knock it out of the bloody ballpark!

Granita will keep for a few days in the freezer, and is characterized by its coarsely-grained crushed ice. Put it into containers, cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Horseradish Granita Recipe

horseradish granita & oyster

Makes about 4 cups.

Ingredients: 1 cup coarsely grated or chopped fresh horseradish/7 T flavored rice vinegar/ 3 1/2 C water/ 1 T sugar/ pinch of salt. Cut this recipe in half, of course, if 4 cups is too much.

Directions: Place horseradish, 1 C water and vinegar in a blender/ Blender until horseradish is processed and fairly fine/ Add remaining 2 1/2 C water and pour this mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium-sized bowl/ Stir in sugar and salt.

Pour contents into a 8 x 12″, or similarly sized, pan/ Carefully place in a secure, level spot in the freezer/ Freeze for 1 – 2 hours/ Remove from freezer and scrape, smash and stir mixture with a fork, breaking into small icey bits/ Return to the freezer and repeat this process three more times, every 30 minutes/ Granita should be done at this point, coarse bits of ice, about like a snow cone/ Place granita in container, cover and freeze until ready to use.

If you are using already processed horseradish, from a jar: Stir 1/2 C into 1 C water and 2 T flavored rice vinegar/ Blend/ Add 1 1/2 C water, 2 t sugar/ Mix together and freeze according to recipe. This makes less, 2 cups, but plenty for an oyster feast and/or as the base for Bloody Mary granitas.

Serve horseradish granita in a bowl or in small individual bowls. Place a spoonful on a tender oyster, raw or lightly grilled. Heavenly.

The basic recipe makes about 4 cups of granita, 2 cups for serving with oysters or any shellfish, and 2 cups as a base for Bloody Mary granita (recipe below).

 Bloody Mary Granita Recipe

bloody mary granita

Although I didn’t exactly follow their recipe, thank you to for inspiration.

Make this with or without alcohol. This recipe makes four or five snow cone-like appetizers, more if used by the spoonful in traditional Bloody Mary cocktails.

Ingredients: 2 cups of the horseradish granita mixture (recipe above)/ 1 1/2 C tomato juice/ 1/2 C water/ Juice of 2 limes/ Dash of Worcestershire sauce/ 1/2 – 1 t Sriracha hot sauce/ 1/2 t garlic powder/ 2 T finely chopped chives or parsely/ Pinch salt/ 1/4 – 1/3  C vodka, more if you like. Or skip the vodka.

Directions: Follow directions above for freezing, scraping and storing granita.

Sally and Poppy are ‘gone fishin’ for the next month, summer vacation. We’ll repost some of our best summer stuff from the archives, and return in September refreshed. Happy summer dear readers.



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Gremolata Festa Mon, 17 Jun 2013 04:25:49 +0000 Make Gremolata and sashay through a lotta delicious meals. Swagger even, it carries a wickedly delicious punch and it’s easy. An Italian condiment that’s used as a garnish, often with braised meats like Osso Bucco, Gremolata adds whopping flavor, consists of three ingredients and takes moments to make. Like Mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, this is the thing that adds zing to whatever. Just the right touch and it doesn’t take much.

Gremolata ingredients

Lemon zest, parsley and garlic are traditional, though mint, anchovies, and Parmesan are often used. After that, we’re pushing the boundaries of what the Italians know to be traditional Gremolata. Basil, olive oil, bread crumbs, non-traditional, but why not? Here’s how to make it, expand it, and some ways to use it.

Basic Gremolata Recipe

Gremolata Condiment

Notes: Depending on the type of dish, this basic recipe, 1/3 cup, is generally enough to embellish four servings. A little goes a long way, perhaps a teaspoon or two per serving is enough. Can be made ahead, but ideally make it and use it in the moment.  Zest the lemon with an official zester, or peel just the thin yellow layer with a peeler and then chop very finely – remember to avoid including the bitter white membrane. The garlic may be offputting to some. Even if you love garlic you might want to use less than what’s suggested. For me, all recipes are suggestions – except when baking.

Ingredients & directions: Zest of one lemon/ ¼ C finely chopped fresh parsley/ 1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped – more if you really like raw garlic flavor, less if you don’t/  Mix together and that’s it. Too easy.

Add this a teaspoon or two at a time to Osso Bucco or almost any piece of meat or vegetable just before serving.

And there are many interpretations and uses for Gremolata.

Gremolata With Pasta

Gremolata with pasta

Ingredients & directions for three or four servings: Quadruple the basic Gremolata recipe except for the garlic (double is plenty), and set aside. Stir the following ingredients into piping hot pasta:  1 – 2 teaspoons finely chopped or smashed anchovies, red pepper flakes to taste, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons each of olive oil, toasted or dried bread crumbs, fresh basil (optional) and lemon juice. Add a few tablespoons of cooking liquid if pasta seems dry. Add 1 cup of Gremolata, toss and serve immediately. Extra topping and/or Parmesan optional.

Normally, a little Gremolata goes a long way – a tablespoon adds a lot of flavor to a serving. Except for pasta. For a pile of steaming hot pasta, enough for three or four people, make one cup by quadrupling the basic recipe. Serve pasta as is or with a piece of fish or chicken. Had this for dinner the other night with crispy Parmesan chicken. Bingo.

Gremolata with Rice

Toss ¼ cup basic gremolata with 3 cups of cooked rice while it’s still hot. Add the juice of the zested lemon and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss periodically as rice cools. Eat at room temperature with whatever you like, especially fish or steamed greens.

Gremolata with Favas, Green Beans, Brocolli

green beans gremolata

Green beans will appear in the vegetable garden soon.

Par boil green beans or broccoli for 2 minutes, shock in ice water to retain bright green color. When ready to serve, sauté in olive oil for 2 or 3 minutes, toss with Gremolata and serve. Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint to basic Gremolata for green beans if that sounds good.

For fava bean salad, start with 3 – 4 cups of  fava beans, add cumin and fresh squeezed lemon to taste, plenty of olive oil, at least 2 tablespoons of basic Gremolata and extra parsley. Instant spring/summer salad.

You might be wondering how to deal with freshly harvested fava beans. A labor of love they are, though a delicious one. This video provides excellent instruction. beans gremolata 2

Fava bean plants are a great source of nitrogen for the vegetable garden so we grow them as a cover crop for that purpose, and reap the benefits of fava bean salads, soup or spread before we dig them under.

Gremolata with Meat

Add a teaspoonful of Gremolata to lamb, pork, or chicken before serving, or garnish Osso Bucco in this traditional way. Again, add a little mint if that sounds good. Mint is one of the basic five or six ingredients often present in Gremolata.

Gremolata with Pizza or Foccacia

Add anchovies and olive oil to the basic recipe. Spread Gremolata over piping hot pizza or foccacia. Return to the oven for just a minute or two, remove from the oven and eat while warm.

Gremolata with Soup

Especially good with squash soups, but really almost any soup, including seafood chowder. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkling of  basic Gremolata just before serving, or stir 3 – 4 tablespoons into 1/3 – 1/2 cup sour cream, plain yogurt, crème fraîche, or a combination. Garnish each bowl with a spoonful.

10 More Favorite Recipes from Mixed Greens Blog Mon, 18 Feb 2013 01:00:24 +0000 Mixed Greens

It’s my turn give you ten of my favorite posts. While Sally chose hers mainly for sentimental reasons, I decided to go for more practical reasons. This is a list of recipes that bring me back to the blog over and over to remind myself how I made something. Don’t ask me why I can remember these recipes especially considering I make them often. Just knowing they’re on the blog whenever I might need them, I no longer add them to my written recipe file and apparently, I don’t need to remember them either.

Homemade Turkey Soup    Homemade Turkey Soup

Okay, I lied. I make this so often that I no longer refer to the recipe, but plenty of other folks do.

Multi-Cultural Tofu Marinade    Marinated Tofu

I use this marinade at least once a week. It takes tofu to a whole new level and is great for fish too.

Winter Squash Gratin   Winter Squash Gratin

My absolute favorite way to eat winter squash. Perfect for a family dinner side-dish.

Duck Confit    Duck Confit

Best dish for a dinner party.

DIY Ricotta Cheese  Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta, creme fraiche, goat cheese — all easy and fun to make in your own kitchen.

Chicken Liver Pate      Pate on Crackers

The most impressive appetizer I make, an essential ingredient in your homemade banh mi too.

Homemade Sriracha Hot Sauce  Sriracha Sauce

If only peppers were in season year-round, I’d make this much more often.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon  Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

My granddaughter Lily loves these — that says it all.

Caesar Salad Dressing Caesar Salad

I think I make the best caesar salad, even if I do say so myself.

Flourless Chocolate Cake  Flourless Chocolate Cake

Practically the only dessert I make and definitely the only cake.

I’ve gotten a little feedback from some of our readers that they come to Mixed Greens mainly to look at the photos — and that’s truly okay with me, I’m honored in fact. But if you do decide to try some of our recipes, Sally’s top ten from last week and mine above would be a good place to begin.

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