Lagniappe: Super Simple Sheet Pan Roasted Tomato Sauce

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We’d like to congratulate one of our favorite guest bloggers for coming up with a super simple recipe – if you’ve got some extra – or maybe less than perfect – home-grown tomatoes as the summer winds down.  This Siamese congratulatory note seems so right following last week’s blog.   Here’s the text we received from today’s blogger (an aside: first hand-written notes gave way to emails; now apparently texting has replaced emailing 🙂 :

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Pan roasted tomatoes – with herbs and garlic and onions

I’d like to submit my simple fresh tomato sauce for Big Little Meals. I’ve been roasting sheet pans of tomatoes with salt, olive oil, and herbs (a little sage, rosemary, thyme) and onions and some garlic and then I throw it in the food processor and blend it and then when it’s time I cook it a bit more, season with chile flakes and more salt, and finish it with some butter. Delicious.

This is my secret.  It’s so simple. It’s essentially a one sheet pan tomato sauce.

This may go viral.

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Cherry tomatoes roasted and ready to be smeared like jam on garlicky bread

Super Simple Fresh Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: Depends the number of tomatoes you use
  • Print

  • Tomatoes, very thickly sliced – or cherry tomatoes whole (de-stemmed)
  • Peeled onion, thickly sliced
  • Couple cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Herbs (your choice)
  • Toss it all with a generous glug of olive oil and salt.
  • Put it all on a sheet pan (line the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up)

Roast at 450 degrees, till just slightly charred (20-45 minutes, depending on size of tomatoes).  Then it goes directly into the food processor (all of it—garlic, onions, herbs, and tomatoes) and pulse till almost but not all the way smooth.  

Before serving, season with chile flakes, add salt, if needed, and a bit of butter

You might serve this with kalamata olives, capers, parsley, basil and/or chicken over pasta or even over farro.  Smear roasted cherry tomatoes over garlic bread.  Recipe brought to you by Sara in San Francisco and





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Our special blogger – demonstrating how to make Tacolicious’ ceviche at the Ferry Building Marketplace – not how to make roasted tomatoes.  You take what you can get photo-wise.

Whether it’s “like mother, like daughter” or she’s a “chip off the old block” or “we’re just two peas in a pod,” (I’ve been thinking a lot about expressions lately; be sure to check out next week’s blog for more) it just so happens that I’ve been roasting tomatoes too.

While Andy fixed us a martini the other night, I quickly cored some garden tomatoes (we have an unusual over-abundance), sliced them in two, tossed them in some olive oil and salt and peppered them, popped them in a 450 degree oven and sat down to my martini.  And it was still icy cold.   Forty-five minutes later I had amazing roasted tomatoes.  I blended them quickly in the food processor, dumped them in a glass freezer container, and popped them in the freezer for an easy, delicious future meal.

Sara and I recommend you get wild and crazy and avoid adhering to a rigid recipe (like David, another guest blogger).  I omitted many of Sara’s seasonings because I wanted my tomatoes to be able to go any direction when I used them: maybe in a Mexican sopa or maybe Italian-style over pasta or maybe even a spicy tomato jam.

My only suggestion is that you line your sheet pan with aluminum foil – and don’t use parchment paper, since you want to capture all of the juices.  I’ve also used a glass dish, which works too.

Thanks, Sara Deseran, for your contribution! 🙂

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As my friend Katie would say –  our mother/daughter photo is “old as the Hills” – but nice, I think.


  1. Bob Carleton says:

    Great Pix. Nice, shorter, simpler, version of the tomato recipe as well.

    Haven’t had a martini since Emmet Sharp poured “one” for me in a 12 ounce tumbler my first weekend at CSU, back in ’69. But, I am toying with the notion of making a Tom Collins, and appreciate the recipe.


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