Tomato, tomahto

Here in the northern U.S., we have reached peak tomato. My garden is churning out ripe tomatoes at a frantic pace as the light gets shorter and shorter each day. I have already eaten more than my fair share of BLTs, tomato sandwiches, tomato tarts, tomato salads, gazpacho, and various other tomato-related meals. I have canned several quarts of crushed tomatoes, and still they keep coming, relentless. I know that in a few short weeks I will be wistfully looking back at this time, but in the moment it’s overwhelming. Naturally the EYB Library is a valuable resource, but I also look to my social media feeds to see if something new will catch my eye.

Today a recipe in The Guardian did just that, one for lacto-fermented tomatoes. The article begins with a staggering statistic: in the UK, they throw away 1.2 million tomatoes every day. I can only imagine how many more we discard here in the US (she says as she shamefully glances at her compost pile – mea culpa). In addition to the pickled tomatoes, the article offers another easy way to use up your tomato glut.

One of the best uses for a tomato is Marcella Hazan’s simple, genius tomato sauce. But did you know how this recipe came to be? Today the Washington Post’s Daniela Galarza shared the story with us. It turns out that a while back, Galarza ate lunch with someone who knew Hazan’s husband Victor, who was her longtime taste-tester. Galarza asked her dining companion to ask Victor about the recipe’s origin and to her delight she received a response. After relating the story, Victor closes the email with this gem: “In one sense it is a traditional sauce out of [Marcella’s] background, in another it’s an improvisation generated by her unquestioned genius for cooking.” I hope that my husband says something that nice about me when I’m gone (but I’m not betting on it). Maybe it will help if I make him this sauce tomorrow.

Photo of Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce III from The Washington Post

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  • Genscooking  on  September 8, 2021

    We have recently moved to a new neighborhood in a new city, and have found the local white-tailed deer to be all too happy to eliminate any possibility of too many tomatoes. Despite having 5 lush and bushy tomato plants (grown from seed!) I have eaten only 4 tomatoes from my garden all summer. The deer eat them green, and they’ll tear through bird-netting to get them. We’ll need strong fences next year!

  • Jenny  on  September 8, 2021

    This is the only sauce I make. I puree the onion into the sauce at the end though and sometimes add a touch of garlic but it’s a winner.

  • valbe  on  September 8, 2021

    This sauce is indeed one to have at your fingertips. Great idea to puree in the onion! Thanks for sharing.

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