You know that daydream where you live on a farm nestled in a mountain valley? It's the one where you have a sprawling garden full of vegetables for eating and flowers for bouquets. You make butter from fresh cream to sell to your neighbors but also to spread on toast. You have an outdoor bathtub for sunset soaks and a cat to keep you company. Last weekend I stepped out of the daydream and onto Marisa Mauro's farm in Vermont. If it weren't for the fridge full of butter I came home with, I might not have known the difference.
You're probably guessing that all these gorgeous tomatoes came from Marisa's garden. We did pick tomatoes but those ended up in our bellies before I could take any snaps. No, the weekend involved serious homework for an article I'm so honored to write on Marisa's butter business, Ploughgate Creamery. Check out the upcoming issue of t.e.l.l. New England for all the details of Marisa's enviable Vermont farm life.
When Sunday arrived and it was time to go back to the dusty, cramped city I took home with me as much of Vermont as possible. Besides Marisa's butter that included hot sauce, gin, and of course maple syrup. I have long wanted to try roasting tomatoes with maple. I now regret not trying it sooner. If you can stand turning on your oven in August you won't either.
Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 4 pounds tomatoes
- 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
- Chop tomatoes into chunks roughly the same size (I had some grape tomatoes so I left those whole)
- Toss tomatoes with maple syrup, olive oil, and sea salt
- Spread on baking sheet and roast for 1 hour
- Pour tomatoes along with all juices from the baking sheet into a saucepan
- Warm through when ready to serve
Serve sauce as is or add something briny like olives or capers to balance the sweetness.