Tomatoes in Winter
If you’re a preserver, this is a great time of year to crack out the tomatoes in whatever form you have them. Like many of you, I can, dry, freeze, or turn them into a pesto-like format after roasting with garlic and olive oil. My motto is “never waste a tomato” regardless of season.
Being over-loaded with frozen roasted tomato sauce I made deliveries to friends and my daughter-in-law. Of course, the tomato sauce is delicious with pasta, but my daughter-in-law asked about ideas for using the sauce without pasta (New Year’s resolution!). So, here is what I shared.
Use your own tomato sauce or begin with canned or frozen tomatoes, seasoned, and reduced to a thick sauce. Add fresh or dried herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano. The recipes below are for two, but you can double or triple the size depending on the number of mouths you are feeding.
Tomato Poached Halibut or Cod
Place one cup tomato sauce in a skillet. If too thick to simmer without burning, add a couple of TBSP of water. Cut the fish into 3-4 oz pieces. Season them with salt and pepper. Put them in the simmering sauce and cook for about 8 minutes with the lid on. Spoon sauce over top.
Prepare sauce as above. Add ½ tsp of oregano. Once simmering, place cleaned and deveined large shrimp into the pan in a single layer. Cook for 3 min and flip. When you flip the shrimp add crumbled feta cheese (about 1 oz per person). Cook for another 3 min. The feta will melt making a creamy sauce. Serve fish or shrimp with salad, bread or atop of rice.
Quick Baked Parmesan
Slice zucchini and eggplant in long strips. Salt the eggplant for 15 minutes. Put veggies on parchment paper and bake at 400 until they are cooked with crispy edges. Put the sauce under and over the veggies in layers like lasagna. Top with fresh mozzarella and a hefty sprinkle of parmesan. Bake 20 min or until the cheese is melted.
Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce
Many cuisines around the world have a recipe for poached eggs in tomato sauce. In Mexico, you will find the delicious dish called “divorced eggs” using both tomato and tomatillo sauces. In Africa and Israel, the Shakshuka is a dish of poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce often with chopped vegetables, cumin, hot peppers and feta cheese. The dish is served in the cast iron or other frying pan with sour dough bread to mop up all the yummy sauce and eggs. You can create your own version of poached eggs in tomato sauce and serve for breakfast or dinner.
Tomatoes are most wonderful in the summer and early fall but having them in the pantry or freezer through the winter months is not only handy, but cost-effective and healthy. This is the season to celebrate the versatility of this fruit. Enjoy.
Share your ideas for tomato sauce without pasta! Send them along to me at: