I have already written about my intense love of fresh tomatoes. I grow them every summer and use them in many different recipes. Even now, in mid-October, I still have some new ones coming in. Mine typically continue to grow until the first frost (usually in November), and when the weather is cooler I like to keep them on the vine as long as possible. If there are lots of green ones on the vine and I hear that frost is on its way I pick them and let them ripen in my kitchen inside a brown paper bag.
I use my tomatoes for cooked marinara sauce, a fresh primavera sauce, in my homemade cold and hot soups, and of course in salads. One of the most versatile uses I have come up with for my tomatoes is the recipe I am about to share with you:
This sauce is one of the most multi-functioning sauces you will ever need in your refrigerator. It can be used cold as a dip on your condiment tray, as a salad dressing, on raw squash or other veggie “noodles”, topping for bruschetta, even as a salsa to dip chips into.
|As a condiment or dip|
You can also use it on warm dishes. It is delicious over pasta, on homemade pizza, or as a topping for warm crostini. Of course if you use it in the oven it won’t be raw anymore, but it will still be fresh and delicious. This sauce is very simple and quick to prepare…the only tools and equipment you need are a chef’s knife to cut up your ingredients and a blender. I would love to say that I rock this sauce out on a fancy, shiny, high-powered Vitamix, but alas that is not the case. I am still using my re-gifted 1970s Osterizer Galaxie, which my husband has informed me is a bar blender. This sauce only takes me about 15 minutes on my relic of a blender so if you have a blender that is at all more modern than mine it could even take you less time.
Fresh tomatoes: hopefully organic ones you have grown yourself or have found from your local farmer…but if these are not options, find some nice Roma tomatoes from a high quality grocer. I would say use 4 good-sized Roma tomatoes.
|As a dressing for my arugula salad|
Garlic: I adore garlic and have been letting myself eat as much of it as I want since I found out about its anti-cancer benefits from some of my IIN classes and books I’ve read. So since I like it, I tend to be a little heavy-handed with it. I use three good-sized cloves of garlic in this recipe, but feel free to adjust to your own preference. I say use as much as you like…especially since Halloween is coming up. Gotta keep those vampires away 😉
Extra virgin olive oil: Use about ¼ to 1/3 a cup of the highest quality olive oil you can afford. If you don’t have olive oil, grapeseed oil is also good with this recipe. I have also done it half grapeseed and half flaxseed oils to get those essential fatty acids in.
Fresh herbs: Use about ¼ cup each of fresh organic basil and Italian (flat leaf) parsley.
Nutritional yeast: This comes in powdered form or flakes and can be found in your health food store. It is very healthy, is a good source of vitamin B12, and gives a nice extra something to the flavor. Some say it is a little salty, some say it is a little cheesy, some say it is umami…me? I just like it. It is used to substitute cheese in a lot of raw and vegan dishes and I use it a lot. Note: nutritional yeast has nothing to do with Candida albicans and does not contribute to yeast overgrowth in the body. I feel it is kind of a misnomer. I use two tablespoons in this recipe. If you cannot find this ingredient, don’t worry about it…don’t let that make you not try this recipe.
Fresh lemon juice: I use the juice from about half of a good-sized lemon for this recipe, or 3 tablespoons if I have it available freshly juiced.
Extra seasoning: I use pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground multicolored peppercorns to season this sauce. I’m not going to tell you how much to use…taste it first and then add what you think it needs. Just don’t overdo it!
Chop up your ingredients just a little so your blender doesn’t have to work too hard (of course this depends on how good your blender is…most of you probably won’t have to spend too much time on this step). Add your oil and lemon first, then your nutritional yeast and garlic, then your tomatoes, then your herbs and blend them all together. Give it a taste and add little bits of salt and pepper until it is seasoned to your liking. Pour it into mason jars or glass food storage containers and refrigerate. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but I recommend freezing it in portions if you don’t anticipate using it all up in that time.
I really think you will love this sauce…it has become a staple in my refrigerator and my kids absolutely love it.
|As a sauce for homemade stuffed pasta|
Keeping multi-use sauces like this on hand really helps to make trying out different healthy foods easier and can really lower your prep time. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
*Basil and parsley image from The Original Cupcake Rehab.