September 24, 2010

Hot Sauced

First, apologies for my absence on Wednesday. I had the flu (yuck) and thinking about food, looking at food, and most definitely eating food were all too much for my belly to handle. Yes, it was a travesty. But luckily, I’m on the mend and back to dreaming about low sodium cheese. And no, I’m not joking. I really did dream about a block of Helluva Good Cheddar last night. Don’t judge. I’m hungry.

So, to hop back into the low sodium saddle, I wanted to start with something simple, that wouldn’t upset my seemingly quieted stomach. And luckily I had some stock recipes up my sleeve.

A few weekends ago, I happened to be across the bridge at Cavallo Point – my personal heaven – on a day that their cooking school was offering a class called Sauced, which provided instructions on how to master four different rustic and traditional tomato sauces, all while pouring endless glasses of Italian wine. Very clever. Very appreciated.

While I’m saving the more detailed recipes for a later date, one continues to stick out in my mind. It was simple (almost mindless) to make and yet, it packed a boatload of savory, lip-smacking flavor, without needing salt.

What was it? Slow roasted tomatoes. Yes, the gorgeous halves of ruby red, veggie fruit that you see above were simply sprinkled with crushed black pepper, crushed garlic, some herbs (thyme and rosemary), and olive oil. They were then left to roast in a steamy oven (250 degrees) for almost three hours, during which their natural flavors became more robust. Just like a strong, Italian stallion.

The team at Cavallo’s Cooking School suggested that we use these tomatoes as a pizza sauce (merely spreading it into dough), chopped up and added to other tomato sauces (providing a smoky flavor), or laid expertly on top of small toast points for a poor man’s bruschetta (with a super rich taste). Or, in my opinion, you can simply pop them in your mouth and call it a day, because they are nature’s roasted candy and they are delicious.

So if you are harvesting some of summer’s last heirlooms or any other strain of succulent tomato, throw on the oven and get roasting. And don’t be shy. Cook up a huge pan of them and see how many ways you can use them to spice up your meals next week. As I always say, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. But when it comes to tomatoes, roast a big batch.

Chow on.

Magdalena CAbrera September 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Hi SG. Sorry to read you were ill. And very glad you are now feeling better. Just in time for a fun weekend, I hope! Say, do you think this recipe would work in a solar oven? Sure like to save energy when I can and 3 hours in a gas or electric oven is a long time. Thanks. YOu may not know the answer. If I try it, I will get back to you.

sodium girl September 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for the sweet note. Yes, 3 hours is a long time (and when I cook that way, I always think of other ways to reduce my footprint). But using a solar oven is a fabulous idea! And I think it would definitely work, without using fossil fuel. Great thinking.

AP September 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Damn, this looks awesome. So much in fact that I’m going to go make it right. only no 3 hour roast. i’m hungry!

sodium girl September 27, 2010 at 8:23 am

How was it!?! And why 8 hours at the Starbucks!

AP September 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

Turns out I had no fresh herbs. So i made a almond butter/rhubarb preserve sando instead. But may go for the tomato amazingness tonight!

Applications are my life right now. 2 more weeks and can finally get back to reviews!

Sharon Uren April 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Hi guys,

I’m going round in circles trying to find the Low sodium Tomato sauce recipe. Not good when you’re dizzy. Hehehe. Can someone please tell me where I can find the recipe.
Many thanks.

sodium girl April 14, 2011 at 7:09 am

Oh no! Dizziness is bad and YES, I’m definitely fixing the recipe search situation this month. So thanks for hanging in there. As for the tomato sauce recipe, what are you looking for? The one on this post is simple roasted tomatoes which work wonderously in pasta. Very simple. But if you want something thicker, like ragu, let me know! I’ll send it your way.

magnoliasouth March 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Oooh! This sounds yummy and what a coincidence! I happened upon your blog for the Worcestershire sauce and I just took it down a few minutes ago (well, I left it up because I had a doctor’s appointment, but that’s not important right now, lol!). While I was here I thought I’d look around. My plan was that when I was done, I was going to search for a slow roasted tomato recipe. Can you believe that?!

You see, I finally bought a smoker. I have a gas grill that I absolutely hate and thought a smoker would do meat the way I want. Also, I love tomatoes and am tired of seeing the delicious “fire-roasted tomatoes” with all that sodium in them. My new smoker runs at either 225° or 250° and so I wanted to see if anyone had done tomatoes in it. This is fate! That’s what it is. 🙂

Many thanks! This will be a keeper.

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