A few jars of tomato sunshine to brighten the winter months ahead

Our fledging vegetable patch went from strength to strength this year and it is safe to say that we’ve been well and truly bitten by the self sufficiency bug of eating our own fresh produce for as much of the year as possible. Despite having only a small crop we’ve still been able to preserve some of our goodies to carry us into the winter months, with a little help from our kindly neighbours who have also bombarded us with their surplus baskets of salad, tomatoes, courgettes and most recently chestnuts.

One of the things that I miss most in winter are tomatoes as imported ones never have the same flavour as home grown, sun blushed ones but now I have a small stock of locked in sunshine having whipped up a tomato and leek sauce using vegetables and herbs from our garden.

The other good thing with preserving is that I’ve finally used up some of the many many jam jars that I’ve been saving for such an occassion but which have sat collecting dust for who knows how long! To sterilise the jars I simply washed them thoroughly and then blitzed them in the microwave with a splash of water in the bottom of each one. I then used some wax paper circles (you can buy them in most good cook shops) to place on top of my tomato sauces before sealing.

Ingredients: (makes c. 6 large jars) 1 Onion, 2 cloves garlic, 6 leeks, c. 2 kilos tomatoes, thyme, oregano, salt & pepper, Olive oil.

Preparation: 20 mins

1. Finely chop the onion and garlic and gently fry in the olive oil in a pan large enough to eventually contain all of the ingredients.

2. Half each leek lengthways and then chop into small chunks before adding in to the onions.

3. Dice the tomatoes and add into the onion and leek mix together with the chopped oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.

4. Bring to boiling point and then stop cooking as you want to preserve the freshness of the ingredients as they will be cooked again later on when you use your jar of sauce in a recipe.

5. Pour into your jars and leave to cool slightly before topping with the wax paper and sealing the lids.

6. Et voila! All you need to do now is think up a few recipes for your sauces this winter…lasagne, ragout, moussaka, etc

One Response to “A few jars of tomato sunshine to brighten the winter months ahead”
  1. Katy says:

    If only, my tomato crop was dismal this year. The joys of being 1,000 miles further south. Love Katy

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