It is difficult to think anything other than pleasant thoughts while eating aLewis Grizzard
This time of year in my part of the world, tomatoes are everywhere!
Throughout the summer, if I am going to attempt to grow tomatoes, I choose cherry varieties.
Larger tomatoes that take longer to grow and ripen are much more susceptible to blossom end rot in my hot, dry, windy conditions. I grow larger tomatoes in the early spring before the heat arrives, even if they are a little slower to ripen and don’t always
So this time of year we are often overrun with a glut of these little tomatoes, which is one of my favourite problems to have in the whole world.
If you don’t grow cherry tomatoes at home, you will find them in abundance at your local farmers market, often very reasonably priced.
The other plant that thrives in the heat of summer would be my caper bushes. This year, I had a great crop, but I also missed much of it because I did not make a habit of picking the caper buds every day.
Caper buds are an unopened flower so once they bloom, you have to wait for the young caperberry. Large, more mature caperberries contain unpleasantly bitter seeds and are inedible. So while I didn’t collect many capers, I collected plenty of caper seeds this year!
This pasta sauce combines both of summer’s bounty into a delicious, easy to prepare
This is a rustic, homestyle recipe, very adaptable to what you have on hand.
Roasted Tomato, Garlic and Caper Sauce.
- 4 punnets or approximately 800g-1kg of very ripe cherry tomatoes
- 1 head of garlic, seperated into cloves and peeled
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 cup of white wine or 1/4 cup of verjuice mixed with 3/4 cup of water.
- 1 tablespoon of Vegetable Scrap Stock Paste (see recipe below)
- 1/3 cup of capers
- Fresh sprigs of thyme.
This recipe can be double or tripled depending on your tomato supply and it freezes very well.
Put your cherry tomatoes in a large oven proof pan or pot.
Divide and peel a whole head of garlic, or two if you have plenty of tomatoes and wish to make a big batch!
Tuck the whole garlic cloves in and around the whole tomatoes and generously slosh about olive oil so all the tomatoes and garlic cloves are well coated.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees celcius and put the pan with the tomatoes on the top rack. After 30 minutes, check the pan, the tomatoes should be roasting and collapsing, releasing their juices. The whole garlic cloves will braise in the tomato juice and become soft as they cook.
If your garlic is still a bit undercooked, and your want more roasted caramelising of your tomatoes, return to the oven and check on it every 15 minutes until you are happy with the colour of your roasted tomatoes.
Remove the pan from the oven and using the back of a spoon, carefully squash all your roasted garlic cloves and stir to distrbute through the sauce.
Add 1 glass of white wine or 1/4 cup of verjuice and 3/4 cup of water and stir through.
Add a few sprigs of thyme to taste.
Add a tablespoon of stock concentrate (see recipe below), or 2 teaspoons of powdered vegetable stock dissolved in 100ml of water.
Drain and rinse 1/3 cup of capers and add to sauce.
Return to the oven for 15 minutes to cook.
Cook your preferred pasta in a large pot of salted water and drain.
Add pasta sauce to pasta and stir through, serve immediately with plenty of Vegan Parmesan to taste!
This sauce is great served with other roasted vegetables, or served as a bruchetta topping.
Vegetable Stock Concentrate
Thermomix users might be familiar with this vegetable stock concentrate. It is an intensely flavoured paste made with whole vegetables, salt, herbs and spices. If you do not have a Thermomix, it can be prepared in the microwave and either transferred to a blender to puree or blended with an immersion blender.
I keep a container in the freezer of all my vegetable trimmings like carrot peelings, celery ends, over-ripe tomatoes, spring onion tops and parsley stems to use for my vegetable stock paste.
When my 2-litre capacity container is full (or I run out of vegetable stock!), I make this stock and keep it in the fridge. You may think this is too salty, but remember, it is used as a stock paste and the salt will help preserve the stock paste in the fridge for a few weeks, if it lasts that long!
You will need
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 4 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 head garlic peeled.
- 2 bay leaves
- Sprig of rosemary or few sprigs of thyme
- 1 tablespoon of peppercorns
- 150g of non-iodised salt.
- Optional: fresh bunch of parsley
Put all ingredients except for the peppercorns and fresh parsley unto a large microwavable container and stir. Cover with a lid and cook on high for 20 minutes.
When the mix is cool, add the peppercorns and parsley to a blender and transfer the cooked vegetables. Blend the stock until it is a fine, thick paste.
Transfer to a clean container and keep in the fridge for up to a month. To use, mix one tablespoon of paste into 500ml of water or more to taste.
I hope you enjoy this Roast Tomato, Caper and Garlic sauce! And please give the vegetable stock base a go, I assure you, you will never use the powdered stuff again!
I love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment below!