Lesson here: Don’t leave me alone for an entire day with nothing to do but listen to vinyl and play in the kitchen.
“Pickle” had been on my to-do list for a couple of weeks. Quick pickling, or refrigerator pickles, isn’t hard — In fact, it’s silly how easy it is. I whipped up a couple mason jars full of cucumber and squash in varying brines (like, just do whatever you want – presto! pickles), but I got bored. I just didn’t feel like it anymore. And yet, I had washed a whole bowlful of sun sugar tomatoes with every intention of pickling them, too.
I looked down the counter. Oh wait. I had more tomatoes. Let’s make sauce.
I wanted to call this “summer sauce,” but I fear it would be confused with the awesome raw “sauce” I do. Fortunately, inspiration struck in the form of The Beatles.
Andy got me a record player for Christmas, an awesome surprise, as I’d mentioned wanting one just once. Unfortunately, when he’s home, he never lets me listen to it. “PTI is on!”
Thus, left alone on a Saturday, hours before wine time and past my morning workout and market visit — I put on my favorite Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and got to work on an easy, make-it-as-you-go tomato sauce. And I even impressed myself.
Oh, right. And I snapchatted the entire thing. I told you I shouldn’t be left alone to my own devices.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Sauce
- A bunch of tomatoes, whatever’s around, don’t be picky. The more, the merrier.
- 1 onion
- 1 jalapeño
- sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- olive oil OBVIOUSLY
- celery salt
- Other dried herbs, spices, to taste (optional)
- Immersion blender (OR, you could use a blender, but that’s more steps and clean-up, so just spend the $30 on an immersion blender. You’ll thank me.)
- The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, preferably on vinyl
- Dice onion. WHO CARES what size, you’re going to blend it into oblivion later anyway. I do a basic chop. Meanwhile, put some olive oil in the pot. I swear by my Le Creuset Dutch Oven (look for them at TJ Maxx, but you prob already know this).
- Saute onion. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add tomatoes. If they were big, chop ’em up. Cherries can just go right in. No need to de-seed or de-skin.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Remember the jalapeño, dice that and put it in, too.
- Let them all simmer around in their own juices, stirring. This is also where I added celery salt. You can do whatever your heart desires.
- The cherry tomatoes will start to pop on their own when they’re ready, and you’ll want to use the back of your wooden spoon to smash them up.
- Let simmer for a while. Let’s say, all of Side A of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Get out that immersion blender. Carefully blend everything into a smooth sauce. (If using a blender, you’ll want to carefully transfer the liquid to the blender, leaving room for air to escape from the lid, perhaps doing so in batches.)
- Give her a stir to check for chunks, then zip them out.
- Taste. Here’s your chance to add more flavor, though this batch didn’t need A THING.
- Transfer to mason jar for storage OR whip up some pasta and marry those two together. You could also freeze this, perhaps in individual freezer storage bags. If canning, follow someone else’s instructions but also be sure to add lots of lemon juice.
- Have a glass of wine and relax while Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band plays in your head for the next week!