SIMPLE SUMMER TOMATO SAUCE WITH ZUCCHINI SALAD
By: Cory Schreiber, Culinary Artist-in-Residence, The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Portland
SUMMER TOMATO SAUCE:
12 medium-sized ripe red or yellow tomatoes, cored, scored, blanched and skinned (see below for technique)
1/2 medium-sized sweet onion, peeled and minced
6 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and smashed (use the lower end of a knife blade)
Fresh herb bouquet, tied with string (thyme, basil, parsley, tarragon, sage – whatever is available)
1/4-cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sea salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
For the tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Plunge the cored and scored tomatoes into the boiling water for 45 seconds, then pull them out (careful not to burn yourself in the process). Discard the water. Peel the skin from the tomatoes using your hands or a small paring knife.
Place the minced onions, smashed garlic and water into a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan. Bring up to medium heat and let simmer until the water evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add the whole tomatoes, herb bouquet and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and then cook down until the water from the tomatoes has released and the sauce has a thick consistency (about 30 minutes). Let the sauce cool and add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and cayenne to taste. If you want to add fresh herbs the sauce does well with basil, parsley or fresh chopped thyme.
1-½ pounds of zucchini (Choose small to medium sized zucchini with thin skin and minimal seeds. This could be up to six zucchini.)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup green olives, pitted and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Trim the ends of the zucchini, using a mandoline or a sharp knife; slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick ribbons. Toss the cut zucchini with about 1 teaspoon salt, place in a colander set over a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. The zucchini with wilt and soften as the salt leaches out water.
Rinse the zucchini under cold water, pat dry and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, olives and basil and toss to coat the zucchini evenly. Taste the salad for season and add more salt if needed and grind a little fresh black pepper into the salad and toss again. Let stand or chill for a few minutes.
Serve the tomato sauce either warm or cool onto the plate, place some of the zucchini salad on top of the sauce. Serve with a piece of grilled fish or meat if desired. Season with more salt and or pepper. Serve and enjoy.
Photo: Collage by Jane Pellicciotto; original image by Phillie Casablanca / Flickr