Heirloom Tomatoes + Braised Tomato Sauce

Though we seem to have more tomatoes than we know what to do with, we couldn't help taking home this palate of heirlooms from Birdsong Orchard's recent farm swap. We drove down to the new homestead, where we met our host, Nadine, and a few other local farmers. Nadine showed us around her tomato garden, which sits at the edge of a few acres of soon-to-be farmed land, and we were awestruck by the many varieties she was growing.

We traded some dried nettles, Poblano peppers, wild crafted candied grapefruit, and of course - avocados.

Since heirlooms get overripe really quickly, I decided to make a braised tomato sauce with garlic and oregano from our 'food forest.'

The food forest is an area of the garden that keeps producing crops without any planting or fertilizing. There's kale, figs, chives, and oregano growing there, just to name a few.

To make the sauce, I heated the oven to 350ºF and sliced the tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on their size. I'm looking at you, Gold Medal! These were placed in two baking dishes and garnished with plenty of garlic and oregano. After 2 and a half hours in the oven and a few stirs, they were taken out and processed in the food mill. That's it!

We used the sauce for farm fresh ratatouille and a cheesy potato lasagna. Delish.

-- Sienna

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