Monday, October 26, 2015

Tomato "Junk" or Last Chance Sauce

I found this recipe online and kind of made it my own.  My skewed sense of humor loved the name and I really was happy to find something that I could use all my lovely fresh-picked bounty in. It takes a bit of time but whoo boy does it smell and taste delicious! It's a great way to use up left-over veggies - either the last bits from the garden or your crisper - and come up with something that will make a perfect soup, stew or sauce base and give your meals a bit of "oomph." She calls this a "last chance" recipe and I love that too, because it's a great way to recycle stuff you may otherwise toss. I find the farmer in me comes out this time of year, especially after a visit to our local "pick-your own" orchard/market garden. Thank you Gilcrease Orchard for the produce at a very reasonable price. Next stop after this, puree'ing pumpkin for use in pies, bars, etc!

Tomato "Junk" (last chance sauce)


  • Olive oil
  • Garlic (a fair bit) 
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes (I used the green tomatoes and had to add some water to give it enough juice but red tomatoes would look awesome)
  • Any other veggies - I used winter squash (fresh-picked baby zucchini and other squash), 4 baby eggplant (if desired), a few small peeled and chopped beets for color (if desired), carrots, celery, kale, green beans. *I added the few little beets for color and the eggplant because I had them and like the color they add, since most of the rest of the veggies are green.
  • Seasoned salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, a pinch of Italian seasoning, a pinch of paprika
  1. Place oil in a large saucepan. Chop onion, tomatoes, garlic and celery, about 1/4 c water and saute in the pan (with lid on) until the onions are translucent and tomatoes have let go their juice. This gives them a delicious flavor. Stir a few times while simmering.
  2. Chop up the other veggies while this is going on. When the first ingredients seem done, add these and herbs and salt/pepper and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes to let them soften. You may have to add a wee bit more water (another 1/4 c or so) if you use green tomatoes. When you see liquid forming that means the veggies have "let go" their juices and you can add enough additional water to almost cover the vegetables.
  3. Cover and let simmer on medium heat until everything looks nice and soft and the volume of the pot has diminished by at least a third. The colors should still be quite bright (see below).
  4. If you are going to can, make sure you previously sterilized the jar and lid and that you have it sitting in the sink filled with boiling water until you use it. You will be keeping the canned "junk" in the fridge. I used a large (48 oz) sealer left from some dill pickles we had a while back. If you are going to freeze the mixture, let it cool and then place in a Ziploc bag, remove additional air, seal tightly and store flat in a cold part of your freezer until you need it.
  5. This can be added to soup to give you a quick starter, to make a stew or even as an addition to a great tomato sauce - just add additional canned tomatoes, browned ground beef/turkey/pork and some brown sugar to give it some sweetness.

By the way, since I got all "homesy" with this recipe, I am making the Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup I posted previously, only this time using the brown rice I have in the pantry. What a day!

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