While this year’s tomato harvest is slowing a bit, I’m still pulling lots of yellow pear tomatoes out of the garden. You can only eat so many salads, and it’s wonderful in winter to enjoy the taste of summer produce. That’s why this is a great way of preserving the harvest.
Recently, I came up with a super easy, very tasty way to preserve yellow tomatoes. It’s a sauce that’s somewhat like the green sauce that is used in enchiladas and other Mexican dishes. Unlike many tomato sauce recipes, the prep work for this sauce is as simple as can be. However, it works best if you have a food mill to run the cooked sauce through in order to remove the seeds and skins from the tomatoes.
This is more of a procedure than a precise recipe: You can vary the amounts of any ingredient according to your taste. You could also swap out the yellow tomatoes with red cherry tomatoes or paste tomatoes for a red sauce. You could delete the tomatillos and replace them with more tomatoes, if you prefer, though that may result in a more watery sauce. If you use bigger tomatoes, cut them in quarters before cooking.
Spicy Tomato Sauce
6 to 8 cups of whole ripe yellow pear tomatoes, washed
6 tomatillos, skins removed, washed and quartered
4-5 jalepeno peppers, tops removed, sliced in half (add more or less depending on your heat preference)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine, broth or water
2 tsp. salt
3 whole cloves garlic
Small handful of herbs of your choice — cilantro would be traditional, but I used parsley
Put all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes or so, giving it a stir now and then. The tomatoes and tomatillos should be very soft. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for 30 minutes, so it is not difficult to handle.
Put a food mill over another large pot and ladle a portion of the sauce mixture into the food mill. Run all the sauce through the food mill, getting as much of the good flavors out as you can. At this point, taste the sauce for seasoning. Add more salt or pepper, if you like. You may even want to mix in a tablespoon or so of sugar, if it’s too biting.
I then ladle the sauce into half-pint jars or freezer bags and put it in the freezer. It will be ready for a nice batch of enchiladas in the winter.
—Mary Lahr Schier