Homemade Buttery Herb Tomato Paste
My first tomato run was finished a few weeks ago. I made sauce from 50 pounds of tomatoes. That may seem a lot but it is not. I made a discovery at that time that changed everything I love about tomato season. Now I am desperately trying to re-create the tomato paste I made by mistake from the left over roasted tomato skins. Why the urgency? Because I made so few jars and I have already used up three. The resulting meals were transformed into a deep richness that can not be replicated without the buttery herb infused garlic-y tomato paste. Like most mistakes one makes in the "invent and use it all up somehow" kitchen, this was like striking gold.
So off to the market I ran! Were there any tomatoes left? Yes, so I grabbed a half a bushel. The cost? $6.98. I know, a steal.
I like to leave the tomatoes for a day or two on a flat surface not touching and in a dry, sunny place. This lets them rest and dry and ripen. In the picture above, you can see the herbs from my garden in one sink and some of the tomatoes in the other sink in a vinegar-water solution. Then the herbs go on a baking sheet, on parchment paper. I have parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and oregano here:
Then I core and half the tomatoes and place them on top of the herbs. I add peeled garlic cloves in between. I add salt and drizzle with olive oil. Yesterday I also added a sprinkle of dried Italian herbs.
I had some small eggplant and green peppers so I roasted them as well, not to include in the tomato paste but to add to dinner that night. This is the pan after I roasted them all. I roast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes and then 375 until I like the smell and see the black on the tomato skins.
There will be a lovely juice at the bottom--keep that. Now remove the skins and set aside. The juice can be used in all kinds of things. I use some to thin the tomato paste when I puree it and some to thin the skins when I puree them. Here is the three bowls I had of juice, eggplant, and peppers, and skins:
Lastly, I combined all the garlic, herbs, and tomatoes back on to a sheet pan again and roasted them down for another 40 minutes or so. When all the water was gone, I pureed it all together in my Vitamix and heavenly angels began to sing.
Later that evening,, I asked my mother in law to taste it. She just looked at me and said....it's like butter! So there you have it. I portion it into about 4 ounces per serving. That will be plenty for whatever I cook. I used it to replace regular tomato paste in making three different meals recently. Chick pea curry, Lentil Dahn Sak, and my husband's favorite meal Nut Curry Choval. My family raved about the rich flavor. Well, friends, the richness is from my "Butter Tomato Paste" :)
~ Hugs from Mum