Gluten free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

gluten free muffins
Gluten-free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

These Carrot Zucchini Muffins are so packed full of flavor!  Even though they are gluten free, that should not be construed that any one who is not celiac or gluten-sensitive cannot eat them. In fact, I would be very surprised if anyone could guess they are gluten free!

The muffins rise and dome beautifully into just the right contoured shape for a perfect muffin.  Adding the streusel topping is such a treat on these muffins.  It not only dresses them up and adds texture but it makes the muffins ever so tasty by adding additional flavor.

Gluten-free Muffins
Gluten-free Carrot Zucchini Muffins with Streusel Topping

When I started developing gluten-free muffins, I soon discovered that, in order for them to closely replicate wheat-based muffins and have that deli quality I so desire in muffins, the gluten-free version takes a mixture of flours and starches.  Simply using a gluten-free all-purpose flour or the cup-for-cup/1-to-1 flour will not substitute well for these muffins.  The thing about gluten-free flours is that they each have their own unique properties and, for the most part, they cannot be substituted, cup-for-cup, for other flours. Nor, can an ingredient be left out without affecting the success of the baked good. Some flours, for example, absorb more liquid than others and that affects the amount of liquid ingredients required in a recipe.

Gluten-free Muffins
Gluten-free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

From experience, I can say it takes several attempts at perfecting gluten-free baking with speciality flours.  However, I have done that work for you, testing, and re-testing several times, each recipe I develop and publish to ensure it can be made with success in the kitchens of others, provided the baker follows my directions exactly, makes no ingredient substitutions, or leaves no ingredient out. Every ingredient (except maybe the spices) contributes to the batter consistency and texture of the finished product.

Gluten-free Muffins
Gluten-free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

The  Carrot Zucchini Muffins are a great way to add (hide!) vegetables into a muffin. Apart from their wonderful flavor, these two vegetables also add moisture to the batter.

Gluten-free Muffins
Gluten-free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

The texture of these Carrot Zucchini Muffins is moist and tender and the interior of the muffins show a somewhat coarse yet uniform interior crumb with small irregular air holes, characteristic of a well-constructed muffin.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients:

2/3 cup sorghum flour
½ cup gluten-free quick cooking rolled oats
¼ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup + 2 tbsp oat flour
2½ tbsp potato starch
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp + ¾ tsp tapioca starch
1½ tsp zanthan gum
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
Pinch cloves

½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1½ tsp vanilla
½ cup Greek style vanilla yogurt
2 tbsp whole milk
¾ cup shredded zucchini
¾ cup grated carrot

¾ cup raisins

Streusel Topping:

¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
3 tbsp quick-cooking rolled oats
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cold butter

Method:

Set out the eggs, yogurt, and milk to bring them to room temperature. If using solid coconut oil, melt and let it cool to room temperature before proceeding with recipe. Shred the zucchini and grate the carrot.

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Prepare 12 muffin cups (each at least ½-cup capacity) by spraying each muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.

Prepare streusel topping by combining the flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, and cinnamon together. Cut in the cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Combine flours, rolled oats, starches, ground chia seeds, zanthan gum, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl. Whisk ingredients well to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir in the yogurt, milk, zucchini, and carrots.

Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients. With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix. Fold in raisins.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to the rim of each cup. Sprinkle streusel mixture over tops of muffins. Transfer muffins to pre-heated oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for apx. 20 minutes, or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overbake or muffins will be dry. Remove from oven and let muffins rest in pans for 5 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 12 muffins

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Printable Recipe:

Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Perfectly domed, packed full of flavor, and topped with a tasty streusel topping, these Gluten-free Carrot Zucchini Muffins are a special treat!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword gluten free carrot zucchini muffins, glutenfree, muffins
Servings 12
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup gluten-free quick cooking rolled oats
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp oat flour
  • tbsp potato starch
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp + ¾ tsp tapioca starch
  • tsp zanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • Pinch cloves
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup Greek style vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • ¾ cup shredded zucchini
  • ¾ cup grated carrot
  • ¾ cup raisins

Streusel Topping:

  • ¼ cup sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tbsp quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cold butter

Instructions

  1. Set out the eggs, yogurt, and milk to bring them to room temperature. If using solid coconut oil, melt and let it cool to room temperature before proceeding with recipe. Shred the zucchini and grate the carrot.

  2. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  3. Prepare 12 muffin cups (each at least ½-cup capacity) by spraying each muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.
  4. Prepare streusel topping by combining the flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, and cinnamon together. Cut in the cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  5. Combine flours, rolled oats, starches, ground chia seeds, zanthan gum, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl. Whisk ingredients well to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  6. In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir in the yogurt, milk, zucchini, and carrots.
  7. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients. With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix. Fold in raisins.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to the rim of each cup. Sprinkle streusel mixture over tops of muffins. Transfer muffins to pre-heated oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for apx. 20 minutes, or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overbake or muffins will be dry. Remove from oven and let muffins rest in pans for 5 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 12 muffins

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Gluten-free Muffins

Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

The Thanksgiving Turkey
The Thanksgiving Turkey

So, we all know how beautiful a decorated roast turkey on a platter looks and many of us associate this with the ideal Thanksgiving.  The reality is, however, that many households are small and either don’t need, or want, a large turkey.  The responsibility of getting a turkey properly cooked can be somewhat daunting.  Yet, who among us does not want to celebrate Thanksgiving in a somewhat traditional manner and have the heavenly scent of turkey roasting in the oven.

To show how the traditional elements can be incorporated into a small-scale Thanksgiving dinner, I have prepared a dinner for two.  This meal is easily scalable meaning it can be multiplied to serve the number of guests you have.

I still wanted turkey but I wanted something manageable in size and meat that would cook quickly and without having to have a large roaster.  That’s where fresh boneless turkey breasts come in.  They are available in all sizes, ranging from the small 1-pounders. These cook quickly, especially in a convection oven, and you still get the same wonderful scent in the house as the turkey breast roasts.  The other benefit to a boneless turkey breast is that it is all pure meat.  There is no large carcass to deal with and the meat slices so perfectly for stylish plating.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Stuffed Roasted Turkey Breast

I brine my chicken and turkey.  It makes such a difference to the flavor and texture of the meat.  All I do to brine a fresh turkey breast is let it sit for a few hours submerged in a salt-water brine.  After brining, I pound it somewhat thin, roll some of my stuffing into the breast, and tie it securely.  I then brush the entire meat with melted butter mixed with olive oil and sprinkle it lightly with paprika.  I head to the garden and pick some fresh parsley, rosemary, dill, oregano, and thyme (or whatever blend of herbs I happen to have at the time).  Chopped really fine, these herbs are then sprinkled over the meat which is set on a rack in a small roasting pan.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Roasted Turkey Breast

I am a huge proponent of using a meat thermometer.  This ensures my meat is always cooked properly and stays tender and juicy.  I cook the turkey breast in my convection oven till it tests done on the meat thermometer.  After the turkey comes out of the oven, I loosely tent it with tinfoil for about 20 minutes or so before proceeding to carve it. Comes out perfectly cooked and juicy every time. Easy-peasy.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Sliced Stuffed Turkey Breast

For gravy lovers, the downside to roasting turkey breast is that there are virtually no drippings from the meat which can be used to make gravy.  This is easily enough remedied, however, by making the gravy using poultry stock which is what I have done here from some homemade turkey stock I had in the freezer.

Stuffed roasted turkey breast with pan gravy
Stuffed Roasted Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy

Whether it’s a meal for 2 or 22, I always recommend doing as much of the prep work ahead of time as possible.  In this case, I made the Rhubarb-Cranberry Sauce the day before and refrigerated it.  This is my newest cranberry sauce and it combines two wonderful flavors beautifully.  Either fresh or frozen cranberries and rhubarb can be used for the sauce.  It has the most glorious jewel-toned color and fabulous flavor.  The sauce pairs particularly well with turkey.

Bowl of Cranberry Rhubarb Sauce in foreground with Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breast and Two Stalks of Rhubarb in Background
Cranberry Rhubarb Sauce

For the soup course, I am also featuring my newest soup recipe, Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup.  For Thanksgiving, I try to use seasonal produce like parsnips and pears.  This soup freezes well so can be made ahead, thawed, and reheated in the microwave.  Or, a batch of it can be made specifically for Thanksgiving and the leftover frozen.

Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup
Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

For the salad course, I have gone with a really simple salad, most of which came from our backyard garden – fresh lettuce, beets, red onion, and nasturtium flowers.  I roasted the beets (though they could be boiled instead).  So, on a bed of lettuce, I placed slices of beets and added some mandarin orange sections and slices of red onion.  This was topped with crumbled feta cheese and the salad was served with a simple vinaigrette and topped with a colorful and edible nasturtium.

Roasted Beets and Mandarin Orange Salad
Roasted Beets and Mandarin Orange Salad

Because I have included both a soup and salad course, it is not necessary to have a number of different vegetables on the plate.  Here, I have included the decadent Duchess Potatoes and colorful carrots which, though basic, add a wonderful pop of color to the plate.

Plated Thanksgiving Dinner
Plated Thanksgiving Dinner

My wine pairing with this Thanksgiving Dinner is a 2016 Riesling from Thirty Bench Winemakers in the Niagara Peninsula. A Reisling is a good choice as it has lots of palate-refreshing acidity along with a slight touch of sweetness to balance and complement the variety of flavors in the dinner.

For dessert, it’s Squash Pie.  I always maintain that, while similar to pumpkin, squash pie has a richer, deeper flavour.

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

I have opted for a very simple tablesetting and I have used items I already own in its construction.  Miniature white pumpkins were placed on three candlesticks of varying heights.  Some hydrangea plucked from my hedge formed a colorful, yet soft-colored, base for the pumpkins. I used three small votives at the base of the arrangement to give a glow of soft light.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Here’s a closer peek.

Miniature White Pumpkin
Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I intentionally left the tabletop bare because the deep maple wood provides a warm looking canvas for an autumn meal.  Each placesetting was framed with gold charger plates sitting on gold-colored round placemats.  This keeps the tablesetting muted but yet has the warm tones of fall.

To draw the connection of the pumpkin-focused centerpiece down to the placesettings, I simply placed a small pumpkin atop the napkin at each place.

Miniature white pumpkin
Thanksgiving Placesetting

When the napkins have a lot of colorful border design on them, like these, it is sometimes best to just fold them flat on the plate so that the design is visible. Otherwise, the design may be lost in a napkin fold and not be as effective.

Thanksgiving Napkin
Thanksgiving Napkin

Glassware does not need to match.  Here, I have chosen two different vintage pieces from my collection for the wine and water glasses. The tablesetting is clean, simple, and uncluttered. Best of all, it only took a few minutes to create, used items I already had, and the tiny pumpkins cost me less than $4.

Thanksgiving Tablesetting
Thanksgiving Tablesetting for Two

I am a big fan of using white dinnerware as it goes with everything and food always looks so appetizing on a white background.

Roast Turkey Dinner
Roast Turkey Dinner

So, regardless the size of your household, there are options to preparing a tasty Thanksgiving Dinner that still includes the elements we expect to see in a Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Decadent Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes
Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes are one of the most elegant ways to serve mashed potatoes.  To make this recipe, the cooked potatoes are traditionally pushed through a potato ricer (like the one in the photo below) which removes all lumps and makes the potatoes very light and fluffy.  Alternatively, if you don’t have a potato ricer, the potatoes can be mashed really well with a potato masher but they won’t be quite as smooth as when riced.

Potato Ricer
Potato Ricer

The potatoes are mixed with egg yolks, milk or cream, melted butter, some cheese, and seasonings like onion and garlic salt and, traditionally, a pinch of nutmeg.  The creamy mixture is then squeezed through a pastry bag, fitted with a large open star tip, and piped into decorative shapes, like cones or rosettes, on to a baking sheet. Brushed with melted butter and browned in the oven, these little potato mounds take any meal up a notch! Slightly crispy on the outside, the inside is a soft, puffy cloud of tasty goodness.

Duchess Potatoes
Duchess Potatoes

Choose a good starchy potato, like Yukon Gold or Russets, suitable for mashing,  for these little gems. You will want to select a variety of potato that has a higher starch content as these will generate a fluffy and smooth texture when riced or mashed which is what is required for Duchess Potatoes.  The Yukon Gold variety will give a somewhat natural buttery taste and will have a creamier texture than will Russets though either variety will work for Duchess Potatoes. Avoid varieties of waxy potatoes as they have a tendency to become pasty and gummy when mashed or riced and mixed with other ingredients.  That is not the texture for good Duchess Potatoes.

Some potatoes (like Russets, for example) absorb more liquid than others so the quantity of milk/cream called for in the recipe should be used as a guide.  Add the cream/milk gradually, using only enough to make the potato mixture pliable and capable of being piped through the pastry bag.  Adding too much milk/cream will cause the mixture to become too loose and soupy and the potato mounds to spread instead of holding their shape. When they are piped on to the baking sheet, they should immediately hold their shape perfectly and not spread or flop over.

Avoid using a mixer or blender to combine the ingredients for Duchess Potatoes because too much mixing may result in any variety of potato used becoming glue-like and gummy. Just a good old large mixing spoon or rubber spatula and some muscle power will mix the ingredients sufficiently.

It is recommended that the potato mounds be placed in the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes before baking as this will help them to firm up and reduce the risk of them spreading when they are placed in the oven.

Duchess Potatoes
Duchess Potatoes

Known in French as pommes duchess, this method of presenting potatoes is considered to be a classic in French cuisine.

Duchess Potatoes
Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes are a wonderful side dish to many meals as they plate really well and look very stylish on the plate.

Duchess Potatoes
Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes may be made up to a day in advance of serving and refrigerated, loosely covered with plastic wrap.  To bake, remove them from the refrigerator, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with paprika, and bake as directed in recipe.

The potatoes are typically piped into shapes about 2″ – 2 1/2″ in diameter.  Depending on the meal to which they are a side, and the size of the mounds, one or two of the potato mounds would generally be allotted per serving. If they are made very petite, up to three could be plated with a meal.

Duchess Potatoes
Roast Turkey Dinner Served with Duchess Potatoes

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Decadent Duchess Potatoes

Ingredients:

5 or 6 medium potatoes (Russets or Yukon Gold), peeled, sliced, cooked, and drained (apx 2 lbs)
¼ tsp salt

¼ cup melted butter
3 egg yolks (room temperature), slightly beaten
¼ – 1/3 cup cream, half and half, or whole milk (warmed) [See Note below]
3 tbsp grated white cheddar cheese
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
¼ – ½ tsp garlic salt
dash freshly cracked pepper
¼ tsp onion salt (optional)
Pinch nutmeg (optional)

2-3 tbsp melted butter for brushing potato mounds
Paprika (optional)
Fresh herbs of choice (e.g., thyme, rosemary, parsley) for garnish (optional)

Method:

Peel and slice potatoes. Place in large pot and add apx. 3 cups of water (1/4 tsp. salt). Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes until fork-tender. Drain.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking oil.

Process potatoes through a potato ricer or mash really well with a potato masher to remove any lumps. Add butter, egg yolks, cream or milk, cheeses, garlic salt, pepper, onion salt, and nutmeg. Stir well to incorporate ingredients thoroughly and to make the mixture smooth. Transfer potato mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large open star decorating tip (at least ¾” wide opening at tip).

Pipe mixture into decorative mounds, about 2 – 2½” round, directly onto prepared baking sheet leaving 1½” – 2” inches in between each mound (apx ½ cup potato mixture for each mound). Place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to firm up the mounds before baking. Remove from refrigerator and brush mounds lightly with melted butter.

Sprinkle each mound lightly with paprika, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly browned. Remove from oven and let potato mounds rest on baking sheet 3-4 minutes before serving.

Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve immediately.

Yield: Apx. 20 – 2” potato mounds

NOTE 1: Some potatoes absorb more liquid than others so the quantity of milk/cream given in the recipe should be used as a guide. Add the cream/milk gradually using only enough to make the potato mixture pliable and capable of being piped through the pastry bag. Adding too much milk will cause potato mounds to spread instead of holding their shape.

NOTE 2: Duchess Potatoes may be made up to a day in advance of serving and refrigerated, loosely covered with plastic wrap. To bake, remove from refrigerator and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake as directed in recipe.

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Decadent Duchess Potatoes

One of the most elegant ways to serve potatoes, these Duchess Potatoes take mashed potatoes to a whole new level!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword duchess potatoes, potatoes
Servings 10
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 medium potatoes (Russets or Yukon Gold), peeled, sliced, cooked, and drained (apx 2 lbs)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature, slightly beaten
  • ¼ - 1/3 cup cream, half and half, or whole milk (warme[See Note below]
  • 3 tbsp grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ - ½ tsp garlic salt
  • dash freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ tsp onion salt (optional)
  • Pinch nutmeg (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp melted butter for brushing potato mounds
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Fresh herbs of choice (e.g., thyme, rosemary, parslefor garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice potatoes. Place in large pot and add apx. 3 cups of water (1/4 tsp. salt). Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes until fork-tender. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking oil.
  4. Process potatoes through a potato ricer or mash really well with a potato masher to remove any lumps. Add butter, egg yolks, cream or milk, cheeses, garlic salt, pepper, onion salt, and nutmeg. Stir well to incorporate ingredients thoroughly and to make the mixture smooth. Transfer potato mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large open star decorating tip (at least ¾” wide opening at tip).
  5. Pipe mixture into decorative mounds, about 2 - 2½” round, directly onto prepared baking sheet leaving 1½” – 2” inches in between each mound (apx ½ cup potato mixture for each mound). Place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to firm up the mounds before baking. Remove from refrigerator and brush mounds lightly with melted butter.
  6. Sprinkle each mound lightly with paprika, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly browned. Remove from oven and let potato mounds rest on baking sheet 3-4 minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 20 – 2” potato mounds

NOTE 1: Some potatoes absorb more liquid than others so the quantity of milk/cream given in the recipe should be used as a guide. Add the cream/milk gradually using only enough to make the potato mixture pliable and capable of being piped through the pastry bag. Adding too much milk will cause potato mounds to spread instead of holding their shape.

NOTE 2: Duchess Potatoes may be made up to a day in advance of serving and refrigerated, loosely covered with plastic wrap. To bake, remove from refrigerator and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake as directed in recipe.

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Duchess Potatoes

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes (Bumblebee variety)

Every year, we grow cherry tomatoes in the garden. They are prolific producers and there is no way we can use up the pounds and pounds of tomatoes they produce.   This time of the year, they can’t even be given away because it seems everybody has an over-abundance of them in their gardens.  So, what to do with them?  Turn them into a rich, thick, and flavorful sauce!

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Typically, when making tomato sauce, I choose to use plum (aka Roma) tomatoes because they have more pulp than seeds.  However, I do not like wasting food and, since I had pounds of excess cherry tomatoes, I figured they were worth a bit of time to turn them into tomato sauce. Any variety of cherry tomato will work in this recipe.  The sauce in the photos in this posting was made with the Bumblebee variety.

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

I find that roasting vegetables brings out their wonderful flavors. This is true of tomatoes as well. For this recipe, I simply washed and dried the tiny tomatoes and cut off the stem ends then put them into a couple of large baking pans, drizzled them with olive oil, turning the tomatoes to ensure they were coated on all sides. Some nutmeg, along with a hefty sprinkling of fine sea salt and some freshly ground pepper, were applied to the tomatoes.  A light drizzle of balsamic vinegar was used to add some additional flavor.

Roasted Tomatoes
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

These tomatoes were roasted around 40 minutes in a 400°F oven, just until they started shriveling and bursting open.  While the tomatoes are cooling before being puréed, start cooking the aromatics – the shallots, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic cloves.  Once these are softened, they will be put through the food processor or blender along with the tomatoes.

Either a food processor or blender can be used to purée the roasted tomatoes and vegetables. My preference is to use a blender for this purpose.  Neither appliance will completely grind up all the hundreds of tiny tomato seeds. I like my tomato sauce to be free of the seeds so, after puréeing the tomatoes, I pass the puréed mixture through a wire mesh sieve, using the back of a spoon to gently press the tomatoes to release the sauce and hold back the seeds and any remaining bits of skin that may not have puréed.  If you don’t mind the seeds and like a more rustic style of tomato sauce, it’s perfectly fine to leave the seeds in the sauce and you can skip this step.  However, for a sauce with a more smooth and refined textured, and for anyone who experiences difficulty digesting seeds, I do recommend straining out the seeds. Amazingly, the puréeing process will grind up the tomato skins very well and there will only be slight traces (if any at all) of any skins visible after puréeing the mixture.

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

This sauce may be made with either dried or fresh herbs and I have given approximate amounts for each.  The amount of herbs to use (and the same for garlic) is a matter of personal taste so feel free to vary the amounts slightly according to your own taste preferences.  Just remember that more seasoning can be added as the sauce simmers but, if too much is added, there is no way to remove it.

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

I do add a small can of tomato purée to this sauce to give it more body, color, and deeper flavor.  Sweeten up the sauce with a small amount of pure maple syrup and let the sauce simmer for about an hour or so to allow the flavors to develop. If desired, a half cup of a full-bodied red wine can also be added to the sauce.

Tomato Sauce over Pasta
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce Over Pasta

This sauce works particularly well on pasta though it can be used in any recipe calling for tomato sauce.

This Cherry Tomato Sauce may be used immediately or refrigerated up to three days.  For longer storage, freeze the sauce in airtight freezer containers or zippered freezer bags of desired serving size. This sauce is a great way to use up the excess cherry tomatoes in the garden.

Tomato Sauce over Pasta
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce over Pasta

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

5 lbs cherry tomatoes, any variety, washed and dried, stem ends removed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
1 – 1¼ tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

2-3 tbsp olive oil
Scant 2/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped (apx. 1 stalk)
½ cup carrot, finely chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 – 5.5oz can tomato paste
1½ tbsp pure maple syrup
½ cup red wine (optional)
2 – 2½ tsp dried parsley, chopped (or apx. 2 tbsp chopped fresh)
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1¼ tsp dried basil (or apx. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh)
1 tsp dried oregano (or apx 1 tbsp chopped fresh)
¼ tsp dried thyme (or apx 1 tsp chopped fresh)
½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed (or apx ½ tbsp chopped fresh)
1/16 tsp ground cloves

Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place tomatoes, single layer on rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” baking pans. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing tomatoes to coat all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. Place in oven, uncovered, and roast for 35-45 minutes, until tomatoes shrivel, and start to burst and break down somewhat. Remove from oven and cool for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet. Add the shallots, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, until vegetables are softened.

Working in batches, process the roasted tomatoes and their juices along with the sautéed vegetables in blender or food processor until smooth. If removal of all seeds is desired, pass the puréed mixture through a wire mesh sieve positioned over small clean stock pot. Using the back of a large spoon or a rubber spatula, gently press down on the tomato mixture to push it through the sieve. Discard the seeds and any remaining bits of tomato skin.

Place stockpot on low heat and add the tomato paste, maple syrup, red wine, and spices. Stir well and increase heat to medium low. Stir frequently to avoid mixture sticking to pot. When mixture starts to show signs of bubbling, reduce heat to low simmer and let mixture cook slowly for 40-60 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir frequently.

Serve immediately over hot cooked pasta or refrigerate up to three days. For longer storage, freeze in airtight containers or zippered freezer bags of desired serving size.

Yield: Apx 1 litre

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Tomato Sauce

 

Printable Recipe:

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Roasted cherry tomatoes are the basis for this rich, thick, and flavorful Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce that is perfect over pasta. Freezes well. Great use for excess cherry tomatoes.
Course Condiment, Side Dish
Keyword cherry tomato sauce, roasted cherry tomato sauce, tomato sauce
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs cherry tomatoes, any variety, washed and dried, stem ends removed
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 – 1¼ tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Scant 2/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped (apx. 1 stalk)
  • ½ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 5.5oz can tomato paste
  • tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 – 2½ tsp dried parsley, chopped (or apx. 2 tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • tsp dried basil (or apx. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or apx 1 tbsp chopped fresh)
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme (or apx 1 tsp chopped fresh)
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed (or apx ½ tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 1/16 tsp ground cloves
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place tomatoes, single layer on rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” baking pans. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing tomatoes to coat all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. Place in oven, uncovered, and roast for 35-45 minutes, until tomatoes shrivel, and start to burst and break down somewhat. Remove from oven and cool for about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet. Add the shallots, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
  4. Working in batches, process the roasted tomatoes and their juices along with the sautéed vegetables in blender or food processor until smooth. If removal of all seeds is desired, pass the puréed mixture through a wire mesh sieve positioned over small clean stock pot. Using the back of a large spoon or a rubber spatula, gently press down on the tomato mixture to push it through the sieve. Discard the seeds and any remaining bits of tomato skin.
  5. Place stockpot on low heat and add the tomato paste, maple syrup, red wine, and spices. Stir well and increase heat to medium low. Stir frequently to avoid mixture sticking to pot. When mixture starts to show signs of bubbling, reduce heat to low simmer and let mixture cook slowly for 40-60 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir frequently.
  6. Serve immediately over hot cooked pasta or refrigerate up to three days. For longer storage, freeze in airtight containers or zippered freezer bags of desired serving size.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx 1 litre