My Mom's tomato patch is afire in red. As a result, an ever growing basket of tomatoes sits atop my kitchen countertop. Homegrown tomatoes: they're just as scrumptious as ever and I am hard at work trying to find dishes worthy of their flavor.
Of course, salsa comes to mind but a certain someone special in our household disdains onions. I was reticent to make salsa without them, imagining a lack luster result. Alas, the afternoon heat was primed to render those fragile tomatoes an early and humble death upon the countertop. Time forced action and I'm happy with the results.
I blended up a fresh tomato base that has made its appearance in many subsequent dinners.To make it, I threw about 10 medium-sized tomatoes in the blender along with four plump and juicy garlic cloves, a handful of cilantro from the garden, the juice of one lime, and 1 tsp of salt. The result is similar to a gazpacho and could be eaten as such, cool from the refrigerator with some garlic toast.
But the uses for this tomato sauce didn't stop there. I also diced up another five tomatoes or so and threw them into their own bowl and added the whirled-up tomato sauce for a base. I threw in more cilantro and and it made a wonderful salsa (even without the onion!).
I also used it as a quick enchilada sauce over burritos. I drizzled on a thin coat over flour tortillas and baked them in the oven until the sauce coated the tortillas and became toasty.
And probably my favorite use for the sauce was in making red rice. In my rice cooker, I added 1/3 C. of the sauce and 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika to my regular formula for white rice (I didn't change the water content). It came out beautifully, especially when paired with black beans.
I haven't tried it yet but my next use for this sauce is to spoon it over cooled polenta squares smeared with a soft goat cheese and topped with fresh diced tomatoes.
Even though the tomatoes keep coming, I know I'll find a use for them with this sauce alone. I plan to freeze some, as well...Nigella Express. The sweet flavor of the homegrown tomatoes was intensified ten-fold and makes a tasty addition to many dishes (pizza!).Ground up with olive oil, these tomatoes would make a wonderful tomatoe pesto...
Ah, the tastes are endless and there could be worse dilemmas than having too many homegrown tomatoes!!
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