It’s that time of the year again, time to attack all that great basil and tomatoes from your vegetable garden (or your favorite vegetable stand). Below are two of my favorites. The 1st is what I call “Pesto Butter”. This little bundle of deliciousness goes with so many great dishes, sauces, breads, etc. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to this butter…..the other is my oven roasted tomato sauce. My friend Amy always provides me a nice sample of tomatoes from her very large garden. Usually I have already “canned” my tomatoes, so I have found that the oven roasting is perfect, delicious and ohhhh so easy!
1-2 cups fresh basil removed from stems
3-4 cloves garlic
2-3 stick of butter (no margarine ever!), softened
Place your basil in a salad spinner, run under cold water and spin to dry. In the bowl of a food process add 3-4 (more or less if desired) cloves garlic.
Process until garlic is chopped. Add basil leaves and continue to process until basil is chopped. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, add softened butter (2 sticks) and continue to process until smooth. If the color is too green, add another stick of butter and repeat. Using a small scoop, scoop pesto butter onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (easy clean up).
Place pan of pesto butter into the freezer. Come back an hour later (or more), remove frozen butter and place into a zip lock bag. Return butter to your freezer and use as desired…..will freeze for 12 months.
Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
5-8 lbs fresh tomatoes, quartered, cored and seeded
2-3 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons black pepper
¼-½ teaspoons chipotle peppers (optional)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh herbs, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil (or 1 teaspoon of each dried)
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
Preheat oven to 225°F.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, toss gently to coat. Place tomatoes in a 9×13″ baking dish. Roast 2 hours or until tomatoes are slightly browned and soft.
Cool tomato sauce, place in a zip lock bag and freeze for future use. Use for spaghetti, over fish, pizza, bruschetta…..YUM!!!!