Putting By

Monday, September 20, 2010

We had quite the day of making around here yesterday, mostly to make sure nothing  went to waste. We used everything but the squeal.
Cabbage pickle to use up the cabbage from  green chorizo tacos last week
Babaganoush with the eggplant left over from last week's ratatouille
Tomato conserva with tomatoes that we'd forgotten about (oh and a few new ones, discounted  for sauce making,  from the market, of course)
Skordalia with the tomato left in the blender from the conserva
Chorizo scrambled eggs, with the last of last weeks' eggs, and the leftover chorizo.

And, focaccia, grilled fish, roasted radicchio, braised artichokes, hibiscus orange iced tea, fig tart, and overnight oatmeal.

I am tired, but looking forward to making pesto tonight with my super-discounted-basil-with-an-extra-bunch-thrown-in.

J, M, and I made up the fig tart recipe, and I made up the babaganoush and skordalia recipes as  I went, but didn't write anything down. Of everything we made yesterday, the Conserva is by far the easiest, and I think the one thing that will really "last" through the winter: 2 jars went into the fridge (one for keeping, one for giving), and two jars in the freezer.

Tomato Conserva
This is halfway between tomato paste and tomato jam, and can be used in place of either.  It is a great easy way to use up extra tomatoes that are going soft, and just a spoonful adds a really lush, deep flavor to tomato sauces all winter long. 

4 lbs tomatoes
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbs salt
1 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9x12 pan with foil
Core and then slice or roughly chop the tomatos; you should have enough to cover the pan in a single layer (you can double the recipe before you need to use an additional pan), pour olive oil on top and sprinkle with salt and sugar.

Put the pan in the oven and turn the oven down to the lowest setting. Cook for at least 4 hours and up to 16 hours.

Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Strain the tomatoes for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours-- you don't want to press, just dump the ingredients of the pan into a colander set over a bowl.

Puree strained tomatoes. Add about 1/4 of the strained liquid. You want a really creamy, almost peanut-buttery consistency: add more of the liquid until you get there. I used about 3/4 of the retained liquid, but if you use all of it and need some more, add olive oil.

These proportions should yield 2 small jars of tomato bliss.

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