I love to have these simple purées in my fridge and I always make a decent size batch to last me a couple of weeks. I add the roasted tomato purée to anything that requires regular tomato purée, and the wonderfully sweet garlic purée is absolutely incredible and really good to have handy for spreading on bruschetta and adding to, well, most things!
Now I realise that this can’t really be called a recipe, but I thought I’d talk you through what I do with them. Both will be ingredients in upcoming recipes, so I’ll be referring back to this post when the time comes.
All you need is
- A dozen large ripe tomatoes (the ones going a bit soft in the salad drawer are fine too, throw in those little cherry tomatoes if you like)
- 4 large bulbs of garlic
- Olive oil
- Freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F
Slice the tomatoes in half and lay on a baking sheet, cut side up. Slice the very tops off the garlic bulbs, not quite as much as I’ve done in the photo, so you just expose the tops of the cloves, and place on the baking sheet. Now drizzle the whole lot with olive oil, making sure you drizzle some inside the garlic bulbs, and season generously with plenty of salt and pepper. You can wrap the garlic bulbs in foil if you wish, but I don’t tend to bother.
Roast for approximately 1 hour, or until the tomatoes and garlic have softened nicely and started to take on a bit of caramelisation. This is where the fabulous flavour lies.
I like to keep my purées very simple, so that I can add them to lots of different dishes without a confusion of flavours. But you can always add herbs, spices, chillies, whatever takes your fancy.
Once out of the oven and cool enough to handle, simply squeeze the now super sweet roasted garlic out of it’s papery prison into a small sterilised jar with a lid, and it will happily sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I prefer storing in glass, as the smell (no matter how wonderful) can be quite impossible to easily remove from plastic. You can also successfully freeze it in portions, but I never really need to do this, as we use it so quickly.
The tomatoes can be placed straight into a blender or food processor and blitzed to your desired consistency. Again, store in a sterilised, air tight jar and it’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Again, if you won’t be using it quickly, freeze in portions.
The two pureés can also be combined. Play around with them and see what works best for you. The flavours are so much nicer than the supermarket variety.