Tomatoes will not be in season for another six or seven months. As I look at the sleeping garden outside I dream of the taste of a freshly picked tomato – the classic taste of summer. In the meantime I make do with what is available in stores. Once in a while my local farm stand will have a basket of tomatoes at a reduced price, which are not as great as their August counterpart but are perfect for tomato coulis. The beauty of the recipe is that you can use tomatoes that are a bit “beat up”, cutting around the “bad” parts. This tomato coulis keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks and freezes beautifully – It involves simple ingredients cooked together and can make a perfect base for sauce. It can also be used as follow
- substitute a cup of coulis in a recipe that calls for one chopped tomato in a soup or stew
- add one tablespoon of tomato paste for every cup of coulis and reduce at a simmer for 15 minutes for a quick tomato sauce
- puréed in a blender and use as a light sauce for fish or chicken
TOMATO COULIS (makes about 10 cups)
- 5 to 6 pounds tomatoes washed, cored, blemishes removed and chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium onions chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon basil
Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Take the cover off and cook for another 15 minutes. The coulis will be watery and thinner than a sauce. Use immediately or cool down and pack in containers.
NOTE: when I see tomatoes on sale or have a lot of tomatoes about to go bad that is when I make coulis and often use different kinds in the mix: cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, etc. Instead of regular onions you can substitute leeks, red onions or shallots.
From my kitchen to yours,