Tag Archives: thyme

Simple Summer Sauce


In the summer, I love to make nice chunky tomato sauce with whatever local vegetables I can get my hands on. The farmers’ market has been kind and supplied me with the perfect ingredients.

Start by heating two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in your favorite pot over medium heat. I use a six quart dutch oven so I have plenty of room to work with.

Dice one large sweet onion and three large carrots. Add into the dutch oven, salt well and sauté until the onion is translucent.

While the onion and carrots sauté, finely mince four to six cloves of garlic; depending of how much garlic you prefer. My family loves garlic so I use six cloves. Add into the dutch oven and sauté until fragrant.

Two green peppers, diced, get added in next. Continue to sauté until all of the vegetables are beginning to get tender.

Strain six quarts of whole tomatoes and add to the vegetables. I used canned tomatoes from our pantry; whatever you have in your pantry will work. Stir well and break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Add in one cup of your favorite red wine. I had a beautiful bottle of Merlot on hand that my husband’s coworker, a winemaker, had given us. Always cook with a wine you enjoy drinking and you can not go wrong.

Bring to a boil and immediately turn the temperature down. The sauce should barely be at a simmer. Continue to simmer for two to three hours. This gives the flavors generous time to marry and also allows the sauce to thicken. Stir occasionally.

Add in some fresh thyme, basil and oregano. I used fresh picked from my herb garden, but herbs from the farmers’ market, store bought, or in a pinch dried herbs will work also. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

As is, this makes a nice chunky sauce. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender until it reaches the desired texture. The recipe makes enough for three batches, one to enjoy and two to freeze for future enjoyment.


Pickled Okra

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There has been some BEAUTIFUL okra at the farmers’ market this year! What to do with it? Gumbo? No, too hot out for gumbo. Fry it? No, not the healthiest idea. I know! Pickle it!

Pickled okra tastes wonderful, especially if you add in a little heat. It has a better crunch than most pickles. Not to mention, these jars look gorgeous sitting on the shelf in the fridge. Pretty and delicious? Yes, please.

Start with a medium sauce pan on the stove top. Into the sauce pan goes four cups apple cider vinegar, four cups of water, six tablespoons raw sugar, four tablespoons sea salt, two tablespoons mixed peppercorns, two or three teaspoons of red chili flakes (depending on how much heat you like), and four bay leaves. Bring to a boil, continue boiling until sugar dissolves and turn off heat.

Wash one pound of okra. Divide it between two quart size mason jars, of which we have an overabundance.

Take a stroll out to the garden, and pick two banana peppers, and a generous handful of both oregano and thyme.

Wash and slice the peppers, and put one of each along with the seeds into the jar with the okra. Wash the oregano and thyme, divide and place into the jar as well.

Pour the juice into the jars. Allow to cool on the kitchen counter. Do NOT put the hot jars into the cold fridge or this will end badly. Either breakage, or bacteria will form.

Once cool, place in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. Allow to sit at least a few days before enjoying so that they have time to soak up all the yummy goodness in the juice.

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