Yield: Yields about 2 cups.
The character of this sauce depends on the contrast of sweet and smoky flavors. For sweetness, use only the ripest summer (beefsteak) tomatoes. For smokiness, smoke the tomatoes in an outdoor grill or a smoker if you have one. The tomatoes need to be hot-smoked so that they not only pick up smoky flavor but so that their juices caramelize slightly, too. When I demonstrate this sauce to cooking classes, I rig up an indoor smoker using an old cast-iron Dutch oven or other beat-up pot. I put a cup of wood chips on aluminum foil and put them directly on the bottom of the pot. I put the tomatoes in a pie pan (elevated by a ramekin) over the chips, cover the pot, and set it over medium-low heat. But this method can fill your kitchen with a strong smoky smell, so the recipe here describes an easy way to smoke them on an outdoor grill. This versatile sauce freezes well and is worth making in larger batches for future use.
For a full-flavored sauce, smoke the tomatoes until they’re shriveled and beginning to char. Photo: Susie Middleton.
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