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Tomato overload: Lazy tomato sauce

We planted three tomato plants back in early May. All of them are in one 6 foot by 9 foot bed —with the Sun Gold cherry tomato plant now taking over the entire bed. When I turn my back, another dozen orange globes fall to the ground. The poor Stupice and Early Girl are nearly hidden by the overly eager Sun Gold branches.

Sun Gold cherry tomatoesSun Gold cherry tomatoes: So dainty, so golden, so many.

I collected a basket of tomatoes, only to be reminded that there was another basket sitting in the kitchen, staring and waiting. It was time to do something before they started to attract fruit flies… Allow me to present the Lazy Tomato Sauce.

I cheated by using a flavored oil like infused garlic olive oil. Another big shortcut was not peeling or seeding the tomatoes. Yup, whirl ’em all! However, you should taste the sauce before puréeing, to see if the skins or seeds seem bitter, which might occur with tomatoes at the end of their season. (If this occurs, resort to filtering through a food mill or sieve to remove the bits, but that goes against the lazy technique 😉

The total oil amount will depend on the amount of tomatoes. My very rough rule of thumb was about 2 to 3 tablespoons per pound of tomatoes.

Sadly this year’s Early Girls turned out to be flavorless balls. (It’s usually such a reliably tasty variety; perhaps the strain has been, uh, strained.) Hence another cheating moment: adding just a touch of sweetening, not to make it really sweet of course, but to open up the flavors, similar to salt.


  • A large amount of fresh tomatoes you don’t know what to do with, say, at least 2 to 3 pounds
  • 3 or more tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil; you could chop up a bunch of garlic, but we’re aiming for least effort expended. O:-)
  • 2 or more tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • (optional) wine: I used some leftover Viognier (true to both laziness and avoiding waste), but anything to complement the tomatoes would work.
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • (optional) sugar, honey or molasses, to taste: I used 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  • (optional) tender, aromatic herbs, like fresh basil, parsley, chervil, etc.


  1. Wash and roughly chop the tomatoes.
  2. Place the tomatoes, bay leaf, the garlic oil, olive oil and wine (if using) into a heavy-bottomed stock pot. Bring to an energetic simmer.
  3. Simmer until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. For me it took about 45 to 60 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf. Cool a bit before the next step.
  5. Apply immersion blender to attain desired level of smoothness.
  6. If serving immediately, stir in chopped herbs if you want, and/or stir in some crème fraîche, yogurt or sour cream. Inhale with pasta, or other suitable dishes. Freeze leftovers for off-season consumption (with or without herbs or cream, although some fresh herbs might darken over time).


  1. Anita wrote:

    Here we see the upside of peninsula living. We have exactly three tomatoes on our Sweet100 plant, even in our sunny location.

    One of our favorite restaurants makes a deliciously tart cocktail with muddled Sungolds (plus St-Germain elderflower liqueur and gin, I think).

    Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 10:41 am | Permalink
  2. sairuh wrote:

    Three? Ouch!

    Even though I’m not a fan of tomato juice, that drink sounds yummy. What is the name of the drink (and restaurant)? Getting elderflower cordial (non-alcoholic syrup) is rather tricky (it’s popular in the UK, but not here), so I might try out the St-Germain.

    Thursday, 30 August 2007 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Kirstie wrote:

    IKEA actually sells Elderflower cordial…glad to actually hand off that bit of knowledge to someone who might actually use it!

    Thursday, 17 September 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

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