This is the final recipe from our labour day fiesta of tomato canning. The inspiration for this recipe came from the fabulous crew at Klippers Organics. As far as we are concerned this recipe is the Rolls Royce of tomato sauce. This method is much more time intensive but worth the effort. The combination of roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and fresh basil is hard to beat. The following will size approximately three 1L jars.
8 pounds of roasted and peeled tomatoes
2 large onions finely diced
Bottled lemon juice.
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups fresh basil
Wash the tomatoes and lay them on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 350F until they wrinkle and/or split. We did ours on the BBQ to save the heat in the kitchen and a dish from the sink. This worked great – just throw them on the grill until they split (20-30min).
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the oil in a deep pot on medium. Add the onions and fry until golden and caramelized. We like to add a few teaspoons of sugar to help the process and sweeten the sauce. When the onions are nicely caramelized add red wine to deglaze the pan and collect up all that delicious flavour.
When tomatoes are done, peel them and purée with basil in blender. Add tomatoes to onions and heat on medium-high till it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add a tbsp. of lemon juice and a pinches of salt to each jar. Fill jars with tomato sauce leaving 1″ airspace.
Wipe rims, apply lids and process in canner for 40 min. This sauce is so delicious you won’t be sad if a jar doesn’t seal. We were only able to get a few jars done this way so we will be saving ours for our next batch of fresh pasta.
We love the new cookbook collaboration from Chefs Vikram Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala, Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey the recipes are perfect for the busy hobbyist – simple, delicious and easy to cook at home. We love to find recipes that are quick to put together – especially ones we can assemble from things we tend to have lying around the house. Sometimes the work/hobby balancing act can get a little chaotic but you still want delicious healthy food. The only trick to the recipes in this book are keeping your pantry stocked.
We keep our spice drawer well stocked with indian spices and their is always fresh ginger in our freezer so the only additional ingredients needed for this quick dinner is a head of cauliflower. Cauliflower also lasts forever in the fridge so it gives you a good window of time to make this dish – although everything tastes better when made fresh. We often substitute fresh pureed tomatoes for the canned tomatoes because we tend to have those on hand more often.
Vij’s Spicy Cauliflower Steak
Serving Size: 6 to 8
Time: 15-20 minutes
1 head cauliflower, outside stalks cut off
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cups puréed or crushed canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
10 cloves (optional)
3-inch cinnamon stick (optional)
Cut cauliflower, as you would a pie, into 6 pieces or 8 pieces depending on the size of your cauliflower. Wash cauliflower and place in a colander to drain.
Combine oil and tomatoes in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add ginger, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cloves and cinnamon, stir well and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until oil glistens from tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low while you mix in cauliflower. Carefully place each large piece of cauliflower into the pot and gently stir so that the tomato masala covers all the pieces. If necessary, use a large spoon to ladle tomato masala into the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower pieces.
Increase the heat to medium, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through. When you stir, if you notice that the cauliflower isn’t cooking, increase the heat. If it’s sticking to the bottom of the pot, decrease the heat. Pierce one of the larger pieces with a knife to see if it is soft (not mushy). If necessary, cook cauliflower, covered, for another 1 to 2 minutes.
We served ours with some mung beans with coconut curry, naan bread and delicate Kettle Valley Viognier. Delicious!
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