Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tomato-Fennel Sauce for February

I met Jenny Borchardt at a New Year's Day party this year. We connected over a bit of aged Foie Gras, and I have to admit that I paid far too little attention to the fact that she and her husband are organic farmers up in Wisconsin. Happily, we reconnected recently at the Uncommon Ground Farmer's Market where she had all of her wares on display. Holy cow, Harvest Moon, in just its second full year, is a serious farm. Their produce is stunning in appearance and flavor and I can not recommend a share in their CSA highly enough.

Imagine my delight when at the end of Friday's market Jenny asked what I'd like to take home for myself, and then proceeded to fill a massive box with onions, fennel, peppers, a melon, leeks and some of her Amish neighbor's pickles. In the few moments that Jenny's generous hands needed to fill the box, my Saturday plans crystallized in my mind. It's time to make a Tomato Sauce to freeze for the coming winter.

Tomato - Fennel Sauce,
featuring organic onion and fennel from Harvest Moon and tomatoes from my garden.

I used smaller tomatoes that I have in abundance right now. Principe de Borghese, Thai Pink Egg, and Pearly Pink are featured.

The juice and seeds are seperated to control the level of liquid in the sauce.

Onions from Harvest Moon. 1.5 lbs each!

Fennel seed, fresh from a plant outside. At this stage, they are full of bright flavor and will add some nice oils to the base of the sauce.

We roasted the flesh of the tomatoes on a bed of fennel fronds. I am not convinced that this adds lots of flavor, but it keeps the fruit off the hot pan, making for easier extraction. Plus, it's beautiful and it smells good.

Did I mention that it smells good?

The juice from the tomatoes is strained and poured into the caramelized onions.

The blended onions, tomato juice, and fennel seeds meet the roasted tomatoes.

A quick saute of rough chopped fennel and some more tomatoes.

I intentionally kept the pieces large. I want big bites of bright summer flavors when I eat this over the winter, and rustic style seemed appropriate. I am thinking this might go over some roasted chicken. Perhaps Jenny's neighbor, who also does eggs, will have some for me at that point.

1 comment:

  1. Looks really tasty.

    Those Thai Pink Eggs and Pearly Pinks are really cool looking and I hate the color pink.