FDA lifts salmonella tomato warning and a vegetarian recipe to celebrate

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "... fresh tomatoes now available in the domestic market are not associated with the current outbreak."

This lifts the warning they issued ten days ago.

They are still concerned, however, with both the raw jalapeño and raw serrano peppers currently available in the domestic market, advising that people in high risk populations, such as the elderly, avoid these peppers.

I say we support our local tomato farmers by loading up on tomatoes and making one of the handiest things you can make with tomatoes: Tomato paste.

(I could wax rhapsodic about tomato paste and how a spoonful added to an insane number of dishes elevates their flavor and richness.)

Vegetarian recipe for Homemade Tomato Paste
from that wonderful magazine, Saveur
5 lbs. plum tomatoes
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp.
Kosher salt, to taste

1. Heat oven to 300°. Roughly chop tomatoes. Heat 1⁄4 cup of the oil in a 12" skillet over high heat. Add tomatoes and season lightly with salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until very soft, about 8 minutes.

2. Pass the tomatoes through the finest plate of a food mill, pushing as much of the pulp through the sieve as possible, leaving the seeds behind.

3. Rub a rimmed 13" x 18" baking sheet with remaining 2 tbsp. of oil; spread tomato purée evenly over sheet. Bake, using a spatula to turn the purée over on itself occasionally, until most of the water evaporates and the surface darkens, about 3 hours. Reduce heat to 250°; cook until thick and brick colored, 20–25 minutes.

4. Store sealed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month, or freeze, wrapped well in plastic wrap, for up to 6 months.