Thursday, June 9, 2011

Roasted Tomato Vegetable Sauce

The TV Chef was walking around the farmers market, looking for inspiration. He was drawn to an Organic vegetable stand. He held up a bunch of kale for the camera and announced. "See these little holes? That's what you can expect when it's organic."  Organic is not necessarily aesthetic.
This picture is of the Ruby Streaks Mustard I spied at my local Organic vegetable stand. I pulled off a leaf and chewed it up, ready to meet a new flavor. It came slowly, not a bam, not an ouch, but a little howdy. Does it taste like mustard? Maybe. It's more sweet than bitter, not as sharp as mustard, yet, there in the background is a pungent bite. I decide to experiment with this new discovery, fresh and steamed. 
I felt like Alice Waters, shopping locally and in season to let the ingredients dictate the meal. To compliment the mustard in a fresh salad, I bought a bag of baby salad greens, an heirloom tomato and an avocado. I'd make a tomato vegetable sauce to compliment the red kidney beans I cooked up and froze last week. I found  a red onion, shallots and red pepper. Yes. Dark red kidney beans with a tomato vegetable sauce, served over steamed brown rice, a bright salad on the side. I could see it.

This is the result:

Roasted Tomato Vegetable Sauce 
makes about a quart
2 cups roasted tomatoes (or 16 oz can of chunky tomatoes0
1 3/4 oz tomato sauce (I like the one with jalapeno pepper)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup leek, chopped
1 tablespoon shallot, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup mustard greens, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp sale
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander

Pour the roasted tomatoes and the tomato sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. 

Saute the next 7 ingredients until translucent.
(a word about jalapeno peppers  - not all jalapenos are created equal - they vary in hotness - so, adjust that ingredient to your taste - or leave it out - the only way to know it's hotness is to taste it)  

Add the sauteed ingredients to the tomatoes in the blender and blend until smooth.

Pour blended sauce into a medium sauce pan and simmer for about 20 minutes to wed the flavors.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.

This sauce can be used in many ways. It can be a pasta sauce, a pizza sauce or a bean sauce. Today I folded a cup of kidney beans into a cup of roasted tomato vegetable sauce and heated them together. The rest of the sauce is waiting for me in a quart jar in the refrigerator.

Look at that meal. Brown rice and beans, a complete protein. All the vegetables you need in the sauce and salad to meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirement. And there is plenty of left over sauce to make life easy for the rest of the week.   

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