Monday, September 3, 2007

La Festa al Fresco 2007: Tutti a Tavola

I came across a new blogging event whilst browsing Sticky Date: La Festa al Fresco 2007: Tutti a Tavola. It's being hosted by Lis and Ivonne. The site describes it as "very simple: prepare a dish using a fresh, seasonal ingredient. You can prepare any dish you like. It can be an appetizer; a soup; a salad; a meat, fish or vegetarian dish; a dessert or even a beverage. The only rule is that it must feature a fresh, seasonal ingredient, preferably something that grows in your neck of the woods." The last day for entries is tonight, so lucky for me I was out up to my knees in garden this morning!

I've spoken before about my garden's gifts and today's haul was no different, yielding yet more hot peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and beets than you could shake a stick at! I had a plan for the tomatoes and beets, at least, and I'm sure that if the family was so inclined i could have used the hot peppers and zucchini too, but I didn't want to put too much pressure on our fussy step-family to eat vegetables (my soon-to-be stepbrother would live off of ramen if my mom didn't cook, and the future stepdad favours oven sping rolls or take-out sandwiches when she's gone).

Anyways, I made a truly yummy classic of mine: Roasted Melange Sauce. Basically it's a catch-all for the garden bounty, and after a long roasting and an even longer stovetop cooking process, it's a perfect, still slightly chunky topper for hearty pastas, eggs, seafood, and fish. Today's mix included the beets and tomatoes, as well as half a head of garlic and a quarter of an onion that were sauteed rather than roasted. Also jumping into the mix today was a hearty sprig of my garden-grown rosemary and some of my fresh basil. Each of these ingredients was used with the greatest attention to their cooking so that the end result would be sweet and full of flavour. I wasn't left disappointed. The beets tasted like candy and the tomatoes were ever so slightly charred, balancing sweet, sour and bitter all in one. I bottled a jar for my dad, but since he also has a glut of tomatoes in the making I'm sure more will come soon!

Roasted Garden Melange Sauce
Serves 8
3 cups fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups fresh beetroots, scrubbed and chopped fairly small
½ cup white onion, diced
1/2 head garlic, minced
2 tsp oregano
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, whole
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne powder
½ tsp lemon juice
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 large sprig fresh basil, minced
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with foil.
  2. Arrange tomatoes and beets in a single layer. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. Roast 45 minutes.
  4. Heat a large saucepan over medium. Spray with cooking spray.
  5. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook gently until very soft but not brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add seasonings except for basil leaves.
  7. Scrape roasted tomatoes, beets and all the blackened debris and juices into the pot and stir well.
  8. Raise the heat and stir, crushing vegetables against the sides of the pot.
  9. Add the lemon juice, canned tomatoes and wine, mix well and lower heat to a simmer.
  10. Simmer 40 minutes. Remove rosemary stalks and add basil.
  11. Cook a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 53.6
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 219.1 mg
Total Carbs: 10.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 2.1 g

I have frozen and thawed this successfully, and it does make quite a bit, so divvy it up and use it through the winter! That way the best of summer is at your (fridge) door year round! I'm saving a jar for Andrew to take to college too after my mom's wedding, since he loves it too.


  1. Mmmm ... that sauce looks fantastic, Sarah! Thanks for bringing it to the party. Keep enjoying that garden!

  2. What a great use for all the abundance of your garden. I miss my gardens and my heirloom tomatoes at times like these. I also finished the meme you sent, so check out my answers some day when you have time.


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