Beautiful Gardens, Heirloom Tomato Sauce, and Greasy Beans

| 5/30/2012 3:53:06 PM

gentling garden ashevillenan chase edible lawn 

A week ago I was in North Carolina visiting amazing Asheville area gardens with a great group of garden bloggers from all over the country. It was such a treat to see such a variety of beautiful public and private gardens with folks just as excited about gardening as I am. We started the weekend with a reception given by the folks at Sow True Seeds, the area’s newest seed company. Sow True specializes in open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds for western North Carolina. I stayed with Sow True owner and activist Carol Koury (GMO Free Western North Carolina).

carol canningheirloom tomatoes asheville

I was surprised how far along the growing season is even in the mountains. Gardens were lush with spring greens and herbs. Tomatoes plants are full of unripe fruit so far along that I imagine that Carol and other savvy Asheville gardeners will have lots of ripe fruit before long. Actually the early tomato plants reminded me of Carol in her kitchen making delicious sauce from all of her heirloom tomatoes last summer.  I didn’t get Carol’s recipe but I think you might enjoy this everyday sauce from our summer kitchen here at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. You can add a lot more basil or garlic and still have a tasty sauce.

canning tomatoes asheville

Classic Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Fresh Basil

makes approximately 2 cups
30 min cooking

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves – peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 lbs (1.36kg) very ripe red or yellow meaty heirloom tomatoes (seeds strained and juices reserved, about 3/4 cup
  • 1 small bunch basil (leaves removed from stems and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

First: Place the tomatoes in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped.

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