Roasted Garlic-Tomato Sauce

Chef's note: This very fresh tomato sauce is a lovely and simple way to use all those beautiful tomatoes that are ripening on your countertop or arrived in your CSA delivery. The roasted garlic adds lots of body and flavor. The tomatoes, with their natural sweetness and the addition of maple syrup, blend into autumn nectar. Use tomatoes in a variety of colors (yellow, green, orange) for a visually striking sauce. Serve with pasta or chicken or tofu -- or just eat it by itself, it's that delicious. 


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the 8 whole garlic cloves and brush them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place them on a shallow baking sheet and roast them for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are brown on the outside and very soft. Set them aside.

In a large pot, sauté the onions and minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. After three minutes, add the vinegar, tomatoes, maple syrup, thyme, oregano, and salt. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove 1 cup of sauce from the pot and puree it with the roasted garlic. Return the pureed sauce to the pot and simmer for another 20 minutes. 


Makes 6 to 8 cups

-16 cloves garlic, 8 whole and 8 minced
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-2 medium onions, sliced thin
-1/2 cup champagne vinegar
-8 cups dinced fresh tomatoes with their liquid (if necessary, substitute a 14-ounce can per 2 cups of diced tomatoes)
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1/4 cup minced fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
-1/4 cup minced fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried
-2 teaspoons salt