Recipes for Fresh Tomatoes

Mom's Basic Fresh Tomato Sauce
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes (you can use any kind of tomato, but plums hold their shape best and make a less watery sauce)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small or medium onion, sliced into thin strips about an inch long
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan

Place tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about one minute, or until their skins pop. Drain. When they're cool enough to touch (you may want to rinse them under cold water for a few seconds), peel the skins, then quarter the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and chop to desired thickness.

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion is soft and golden (about ten minutes). Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for ten to twenty minutes. (The greater the cooking time, the smoother the sauce.)

Tear up the basil leaves and add along with the salt, a minute or two before removing from the heat. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

For a very elegant variation on this sauce, substitute two long sprigs of rosemary for the basil and omit the Parmesan. Tie the rosemary together with dental floss, and simmer it in the sauce for five to ten minutes, then remove. You will have a beautifully aromatic sauce, to which you can add a few teaspoons of cream, if you so desire. (serves 4)


Summer Tomato Salad
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, preferably a mix of types and colors
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed basil or 1/2 cup dill
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon good vinegar of any type
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Slice the onion as thinly as possible and soak slices in cold water for fifteen minutes to sweeten them. Core large tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Halve cherry tomatoes. Toss with onions and basil or dill.

Sprinkle oil and vinegar and toss; add salt and pepper to taste.

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