Summer also means sinks filled with a variety of heirloom tomatoes differing in size, shape, and color. Heirloom seeds are shared and passed down in a family for generations. Some claim the seeds need to survive 50 years, others 100 in order to meet necessary age requirements. Regardless of which argument you agree with, the seeds hold stories waiting to be told. I imagine seeds that have survived 300 years in tiny cloth sacks tucked into pockets, hands, and then dirt.In a few weeks, the abundance of tomatoes, greens, herbs, and berries will soon make way for heartier versions of butternut and acorn squashes, pumpkins, carrots, parsnips, pears, and apples. This weekend, we will pick peaches and apples, and will turn them into sauce, tarts, and galettes.
Last week, we even packed our veggies to bring with us on vacation. We ate several dinners of sauteed squash, pesto salad wraps, and heirloom tomato pasta sauce. Here is a rough guide to the sauce I made.
Summer's End Tomato Sauce (printable recipe)Yield 2 to 4 servings3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 medium minced onion 1/2 cup minced carrots 1/2 cup peeled and minced celery 1/2 cup red wine sea salt fresh-ground pepper 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar 2 cups chopped ripe fresh tomatoes (mix of large and small heirloom variety roughly chopped) 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Heat the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, a pinch of salt and pepper, sugar and let it bubble for 1 minute before adding the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes then turn heat down to simmer. Cook uncovered until desired the sauce has reached the desired consistency. Toward end of cooking, add fresh chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. When the sauce is finished, pass it through a food mill or cool the sauce slightly before blending it in a food processor or blender. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve with pasta, a drizzle of olive oil and more Parmesan cheese.