Snapshots of life and crafts on our little homestead

Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

Fresh batch of aubergine pasta sauce

With the very warm wet summer this year we have a bumper crop of green beans, tomatoes and eggplant. This morning I used 12 pounds of our tomatoes and 4 pounds of eggplant to make some lovely jars of aubergine pasta sauce.


The recipe I use is as follows. Please keep in mind that the canning method is the one that I use in my house. Please follow the canning method and times that are appropriate for your household.


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion , chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves , chopped
    • 1 large bell pepper , chopped
    • 2 lbs eggplants, cubed
    • 8 cups tomatoes , peeled & cubed
    • 1/4 cup tomato powder or 1-6 ounce can of tomato paste
    • 4 tablespoons fresh basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
    • 1/3 cup date sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
    • 2 teaspoons sea salt 
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 cup dry red wine


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
  4. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Blend mixture with an emersion blender. 
  6. Put into hot jars and add prepared lids and rings. Screw rings on until finger tight.
  7. Process in hot water bath for 40 minutes.


No matter how much canning I do, the reduction in volume when fresh produce is processed always amazes me. 

Peach Salsa


I just love having a large batch of fresh, colorful vegetables to work with. Fortunately, peaches are in and the vegetable gardens are producing well, so this morning I made and canned a batch of peach salsa.

Fruit salsa is so popular in my house that this is the second batch that I have made in the last week (all will be gone by next spring).  I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.

Peach Salsa

peach salsa


  • 9 cups fresh peaches, mangoes, or a combination of both, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large sweet peppers, diced
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp dried jalapeno flakes (or fresh hot peppers if you wish. Add more or less to your desired heat level)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T clear gel to thicken


  1. Mix peaches with lime or lemon juice.
  2. Combine all ingredients in large pot.
  3. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook for five or six minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Ladle into prepared canning jars.
  6. Screw on lids and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

canned peach salsa

No Tomato Ketchup

With a number of fall fruits on hand I made some fruit based ketchup to serve with a few meals this fall and winter. My spouse has an intolerance for tomatoes but like ketchup on a few of the items that I cook in the colder months, so I started looking around for a recipe that had the flavor and consistency ketchup without the tomatoes I found a recipe on the Low Amine Recipes blog that I could adapt for our needs.



  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup peeled, cored and chopped apple
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 C)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves


  1. On medium low heat, cook all ingredients together, covered, in a small pan for about 15 minutes or until the ingredients are soft.
  2. Blend the mixture until smooth.
  3. Once the mixture is cooled place in small containers freezing the portions that will not be used within a week.
Used small jelly jars for larger servings and ice cube tray to freeze and then bag individual servings.

Used small jelly jars for larger servings and ice cube tray to freeze and then bag individual servings.

A Different Type of Pesto

With all the rain and overcast days that we have had recently the vegetable gardens are maturing very slowly to the point that the only items that have reached maturity at this point are the radishes and some of the kale that was started in the greenhouse.


I know, I am just being impatient, but I really miss fresh produce and items that we preserved from last season are pretty much gone. So what is a girl to do… well as Erma Bombeck stated — “When life gives you lemons make lemonade” or in my case, when your gardens produce lot of radishes find a way to use the beautiful greens.

The young greens enhanced green salads but the larger more mature leaves were a bit to tough and bitter for that purpose. I really didn’t want to throw the nutrition packed large bunches away so I decided to try making pesto out of them. The pesto turned out to be wonderful, it really perked up some early season meals. I tossed it with angle hair pasta for dinner one night and served it on black bean burgers another and froze the balance of the pesto for another day.

radish lea pesto


  • 2 large bunches of radish leaves, stems removed
  • 2-3 ounces hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, shaved
  • 1/2 cup of pinenuts, pistachios, or almonds (I use pinenuts in this batch)
  • 3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • a short ribbon of  fresh lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to get the consistency you like
  • salt, pepper, ground chili pepper to taste


  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender or mini-chopper, and process in short pulses until smooth. This produces a thick pesto; add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer.
  2. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container and refrigerate at least 4 hours prior to serving.
  3. Use within a few days (it will keep longer if you pour a thin layer of oil on the surface) or freeze.

Light basil and ricotta pesto


  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh flat parsley
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese


  1. Place basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a processor.  Process until finely chopped.
  2. Add ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Process until just combined.
  3. Serve pesto tossed through hot quinoa pasta, or as a dip.


Lemon basil pesto: Process 1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 quartered garlic cloves and salt and pepper until well combined. Serve as a salad dressing or tossed through warm pasta.

Spinach and walnut pesto: Process 2 cups firmly packed young spinach leaves, 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, 3 quartered garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese and salt and pepper until well combined. Toss through warm pasta or spread on toasted bread.

My Favorite Flat-bread Toppings

Caramelized Fennel & Goat Cheese Flatbread
fennel flatbread
  • 1 batch spelt flatbread dough
  • 2 large fennel bulbs
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 4 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3 oz. soft goats cheese
  • 1 large bunch arugula
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon


  1. Wash the fennel and remove fronds. Slice the bulb thinly on the vertical (from top to the bulb base).
  2. Heat  oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Place fennel slices on the pan, making sure that they all come into contact with the surface of the skillet (not overlapping). Sprinkle with sea salt. Do not stir or move the fennel for a few minutes, until golden on the bottom side. When all the pieces have browned, flip onto the uncooked side. When the underside has also browned, add a sprinkling of fennel seeds and 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup, let cook for 1 minute. Toss to coat, remove fennel from pan and repeat until all the fennel is cooked. Season to taste.

To Assemble:

  1. Preheat to 350°F. Place a baking stone in the oven while it comes up to temperature.
  2. Roll out a desired portion of flatbread dough on a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Add caramelized fennel, and drops of goat’s cheese.
  4. Remove stone from oven and slide the parchment on top. Bake flatbread for approximately 30 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese has slightly browned.
  5. While the flatbread is baking, prepare the arugula for serving. Wash and spin dry. Drizzle with grapefruit-infused olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Season to taste.
  6. Remove flatbread from oven, let cool slightly and pile high with dressed arugula. Serve immediately.

Based on recipe from “My New Roots” blog

Friday Night Pizza

flat bread pizzaThis one is a family favorite. I am asked to make it every Friday night.


  • 1 batch spelt flatbread dough
  • 6 sun dried tomato halves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 1 cup spinach, finely chopped (about 8 – 10 oz. of fresh)
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, quartered (I like the ones packed in olive oil and red vinegar)
  • 1 cup skim mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

To Assemble:

  1. Preheat to 350°F. Place a baking stone in the oven while it comes up to temperature.
  2. Roll out a desired portion of flatbread dough on a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle the mozzarella on the flatbread dough, top with tomatoes then evenly distribute the spinach.
  4. layer on the artichoke hearts and olives and top with the crumbled goat cheese.
  5. Remove stone from oven and slide the parchment on top. Bake flatbread for approximately 20 – 25 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese has slightly browned.

Other toppings worth trying

Tomato-free Marinara Sauce

Tomato free sauce

This very, very tasty sauce provided a nice pasta sauce for those who have or need to cut tomatoes out of their diets. If you add a cup of ground soy protein to the sauce and serve over rice noddles it makes for a very tasty and  hardy meal.


  • 3 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tsp ascorbic acid (for the tomato type of acid — if left out the sauce will be a bit sweeter)
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cup beets, cooked and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups pumpkin, cooked and pureed
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh marjoram, chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp potato starch


  1. Saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent in a high-walled pot.
  2. Add pumpkin puree and beets to onion mixture.
  3. Add vegetable broth and use an immersion blender to puree.
  4. Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  5. Bring mixture to a medium temperature slowly, stirring often. Remove from heat and cover of 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Reheat leftovers gently and as little as possible to maintain flavor.

Based on a recipe from Low Amine Recipes blog.

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