seeing red! …roasted tomato sauce

the beginning of fall and the last of the tomatoes (about 10 kg) from my garden are ready for sauce. this is the second batch we’ve processed in the last couple of weeks, much to my surprise as i only grew 10 plants this year (we bought another 24 kg for canning).

my friend sheila, another avid gardener on vancouver island, shared her sauce recipe with me 2 years back and it’s definitely a keeper in our house!

with small embellishments here is sheila’s recipe for perfect tomato sauce.

« I have used this recipe for years and it never fails. I usually make it in the
summer as we have a vegetable garden and always end up with too many
tomatoes, I then make in batches, for the freezer. I use a lot of garlic in this
recipe but that’s because we love it and the garlic sweetens in the roasting
process. I have strained the sauce at times to remove the seeds. Though most
people don’t mind tomato seeds.


  • 2 lbs large tomatoes (i do a large tray on the bbq, about 4 lbs or 2 kg*)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning (i use a tablespoon full*)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (1 for the tray and one to drizzle over the tomatoes*)

putting it together:
Preheat the oven/grill to 400°f. 205°c.
Slice tomatoes in half, set aside. (i give them a squeeze to get out some seeds and juice*)
Pour the olive oil onto a large baking sheet and spread it around the sheet.
Sprinkle evenly the garlic, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper over the oil.
Place the tomatoes cut side down onto the baking sheet (optional: add sliced peppers on top and drizzle with olive oil)  shake the italian herb mixture over the lot*)
Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until the skins start to lift from the tomatoes. (i roast mine for about an hour until they are just getting dark caramelising on top*)
Allow to cool.
Remove the skins and put the sauce into a large bowl and break up the flesh with a fork. (…we invested in an italian tomato mill to process the mixture, it removes the skin and seeds quickly*)

Reheat sauce if using immediately.

sheila’s comments:
« I’ve been making this sauce and freezing it sucessfully for several years. (we bag ours in ziploc bags for freezing*) I press it in a mill to remove the seeds and skins once it has cooled. I have discovered that salt takes away the bitterness. I know some suggest sugar but salt works too. »

« It’s good if you roast a tray of sweet peppers with a tray of tomatoes and combine them. Roasting reduces the water content so you get a more intense tomato taste.
No stirring. I use parchment paper on the baking sheets. »

* ◊ my variations

home-grownseasoninggoodatxmas onthegrillitaliantomatomill reward


it’s a great year for tomatoes!  i planted a single variety – early girl – from west coast seeds. this is a vine type and they have been prolific to say the least. on average, i bring in  2 to 3 kilo every second day and am expecting between 30 and 40 kilo before the season ends.  they are fairly sweet, medium in size and firm.

sauce is the big end plan, however i am slicing and drying some for snacks and to use as a powder in soups and such.  the vast majority though will be sauce.

as a bonus we have two « cherry » type bushes on the go too  one is a plum and the other a rescue from a neighbour, it is orange in colour and remarkably sweet.  these are grown on the patio and are a great snack while working in the yard.

garlic and other delicacies

Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.

…basil, cucumbers, zucchini, dill…all the good stuff.

i pulled my garlic yesterday and gave a bunch away to neighbours.  i have about 20 left for us to use this year.  after last years attempt i am super satisfied with the results….fall planting is the only way to go!

my dill is as high as an elephants eye (no corn:) the zucchini is producing like mad, my cukes are delicious and the basil, oh my, such a wonder smell.

tomatoes are going wild, hard to keep on top over their tangled web with many tomatoes already well-formed.

i think this is the best site about garlic in canada or even further afield!

boundary garlic farm

more boxes

the north side of the house gets more than enough sun so i plan to add two 4 x 8 boxes for cool weather crops but first i must dig out the astilbe, hosta’s and ferns for inclusion in my « west coast » garden, now my sole ornamental garden.

a new tomato box adjacent to the chicken run (lots of sun). all going well i can have those built this week. then the innumerable trips to rosedale for yards of soil.

now for the rearranging of the other boxes. i moved one in the fall to accommodate a small lean-to greenhouse i will add in the spring along with an area for my compost bins.