Fresh Tomato Sauce


I know what you're thinking...Why make may own when I can buy the jarred stuff?Hey, we get it--there's always a jar of sauce in our pantry for hectic weeknights. But homemade tomato sauce is surprisingly easy to make, and when you use summer's freshest tomatoes, there's no jar out there that can beat the taste. And if, like us, you're guilty of overdoing it at the farmer's market when you see all those bright red beauties--and then wondering what the heck to do with 10 pounds of tomatoes--this is the answer. Make a big batch and freeze it for the cooler months ahead..

Fresh Tomato Sauce Ingredients: 10 to 12 fresh plum tomatoes (approximately 2 to 2 1/2 pounds) 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped Pinch crushed red pepper 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped Kosher salt Freshly chopped parsley and/or basil leaves Directions Place a large stock pot filled with water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a paring knife, cut an X on the base of each tomato, being careful not to cut too deep. (This technique is called scoring). Then, place scored tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and boil for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove tomatoes and plunge into cold water until they are cool enough to handle. At the location of the x, use your fingers to peel the skin off the tomatoes. Discard the skin. Dice peeled tomatoes and set aside. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, and sauté until garlic starts to sizzle, around 2 minutes. Add chopped onion and sauté an additional 2 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped plum tomatoes and cook approximately 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Then stir in herbs. For a smoother sauce. Transfer to a food processor to puree or use and immersion blender.

No-fuss gazpacho soup


If you dislike cooking, you are going to love this. If you're outside roasting on this sticky 90 degree day, you are going to love this.

If you like recipes that can be prepped and on the table in less than five minutes, you are going to love this.

If you like the idea of your child eating vegetables and if you like vegetables in their purest, most-refreshing form, then you are going to really really love this.

Because unlike many gazpacho recipes that require blanching tomatoes, peeling cucumbers, and straining the finished product, this is the no-fuss (read: no work) version. All we do is blend up veggies with little else, and the result is something so refreshing, so delicious, and so impossible to screw up (I'm looking at you, so-called non-cooks).

Best of all, my kids eat this up AND love helping with the prep. My 5-year-old washes the veggies, my 2-year-old transfers the veggies I chop to the blender, and then they both fight over who presses the on button while I wipe tears of unfairness and mop up the food they've dropped and squished all over the floor. It really is quite fun.

But back to the soup. I love this served with an add-your-own-toppings bar with bowls of chopped peppers, cucumbers, hardboiled eggs, and croutons that can be spooned over the top. So good!

No-Fuss Gazpacho Soup

Ingredients: 3 slices bread 2 pounds of tomatoes, cut into quarters and seeds squeezed out and discarded 1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions: Place bread in a medium bowl and cover with water until saturated. Squeeze water from bread and place bread in a blender. Discard soaking water.

In the same blender, add tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, garlic and vinegar. Blend until well combined, about 1 minute. With motor running, add oil in steady stream until well blended. Stir in vinegar; season with salt and pepper.T

Transfer to refrigerator to chill before serving up to 48 hours.