Eat Well: Beware ye' vampires!

The following post was written by my Aunt Nancy, garlic enthusiast. Thanks, Aunt Nancy!
photo
I cook with a lot of garlic. It’s delicious, healthy, and has endless cooking potential.  I sometimes roast a whole clove while I’m roasting other vegetables.  You then can just squeeze the roasted garlic (which turns into a butter consistency) onto bread or cheese or rice or whatever it is you’re making and it has a  very mellow flavor. Aha! But today’s recipe is all about raw garlic.

Raw garlic has been used as a medicine throughout history in many cultures. It’s been touted as having antibiotic effects, boosting the immune system, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  And most of these claims are associated only with raw garlic.  I’m not sure about all these claims, but when something tastes so good, why not eat a lot of it? 

This recipe is a perfect summer recipe for those who have some delicious tomatoes (are you listening, Wendy?).  Where I live (up in the mountains near Lake Tahoe) growing vegetables is a pursuit only for the optimists of the world.  We have a wide diversity of critters who love a free meal, including inch-long ants, ground squirrels, bunnies, deer and even bear.  Because we live at 6000 ft elevation, we also have a bit of weather to contend with.  We can have a frost any day of the year.  This year, however, other than some frosts in June, we have had a beautiful warm summer and the garden was thriving...until last week.  Our neighborhood suffered through a 30 minute hailstorm with large marble-sized hail.  By the time it ended, we had 3 inches of hail accumulated!  Unfortunately, the hail destroyed the vegetable garden and my tomatoes live no more.  
hailed on tomato plant
Sigh...
Luckily a friend had just brought us a bowlful of tomatoes from his garden down the mountain in a more moderate climate, so I decided to make this raw tomato sauce recipe that is a summer favorite.

One note—don’t try this recipe with tomatoes that aren’t garden fresh. Since this recipe isn’t cooked, the tomatoes must be flavorful.

The beauty of this recipe is that you prepare it in the morning, and it sits on the counter while you go about your day.  If you’re at home, you’ll be smelling deliciousness all day, and if you work, you will come home to a kitchen that smells wonderful!

 RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE

8-10 Farm fresh or garden tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, smashed or chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup arugula
Italian cheese for topping
2 pounds of favorite pasta

...Now for the fun.  
ingredients
1. Rip each tomato up with your hands into pieces and place in a large bowl.  Warning—they will splatter. Get out that apron you have stowed somewhere and put it on so you don’t have to change your clothes before work.  (I did not follow this advice!)
ripped tomatoes
 2. Peel 8 garlic cloves by smashing them with the flat side of the knife on your cutting board.  Take off the peel and chop them up (if you are not a garlic lover, you can keep them in the smashed state, put them in your bowl, and then fish them out before serving the pasta).  We, however, adore garlic so I chop it up and put it in the same bowl.
3. Add 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, 2 tsp dried oregano and either 1 cup of fresh torn basil leaves or 2 tsp of dried basil (I used some of both as I only had about 2 Tablespoons of fresh basil) and 2 tsp of salt.
bowl of goodness
4. Add 1 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of pitted kalamata olives and mash together with a spoon or potato masher.  
mashing
Now just let it sit for 1 to 10 hours.  You can refrigerate it if you’re worried about it sitting out, although in my climate it works fine. 

At dinner time, just boil water and cook your pasta (I cooked 2 pounds of pasta), dump it in the bowl with the tomato mixture, add ½ cup arugula if desired, stir it up and serve with your favorite hard Italian cheese on top. This sauce would also be delicious on polenta or quinoa, or rice or crusty bread.  I served six hungry people with this recipe and there wasn’t one drop left on anyone’s plate or in the bowl.     
finished
Enjoy! 

Love, 
Aunt Nancy 


8 comments:

BusyMomofTwins | 10:46 AM

Looks amazing! Love fresh sauce. Looking forward to trying it out.

Red Stethoscope | 4:13 PM

I've never tried a cold marinara sauce! It looks flavorful, though...will have to try it!

Mad Max and Family | 10:46 PM

Great post!

I'm obsessed with garlic too. I can eat them whole!

-Tara
http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com
http://blog.chron.com/madabouttown/

Nakia | 6:41 AM

That looks delicious!

Anonymous | 11:34 AM

This was amazing! I made it yesterday for dinner, and I was a bit worried because my husband isn't big on tomatoes. Even he thought it was awesome!! I ended up heating it up a little in a pot right before serving though, just to make it more approachable for him. Thanks!!

Becca@Roofing Melbourne | 4:54 PM

I sooo love half cooked and toasted garlic. I never tried a fresh pasta sauce, this is new for me. I will try it and hope kids will like it.

Anonymous | 6:22 PM

I am by no means a fan of tomatoes. However, this looks amazing and I do happen to be a big fan of Italian cuisine. (yum!) My only concern is that it will taste too tomato-y. I will try warming it up instead of serving it cold and see if that helps. Thanks for the great recipe!

Jennifer Eno-Wolf | 8:42 AM

This was delicious! Thank you for sharing. Next time I'm going to double the recipe and give away jars of this colorful pasta sauce to family and friends. I found that I had a lot of juice so I used it with the water when I was boiling the pasta. It infused the flavor right into the pasta, and was delicious!