Tomato Coulis

This recipe comes from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, by Judy Rodgers.  This very light and easy tomato sauce is great over fish or chicken, with fried food, or on scrambled eggs.  It is best with very ripe tomatoes, so if yours are  not completely ripe when they arrive, let them sit out on your counter for a bit until they are at peak ripeness.  You can either peel the tomatoes or leave the skins on.  This recipe makes about 1 cup of coulis. 

--Jenna Muller 


12 ounces ripe tomatoes
a sprig of thyme or basil
1 or 2 garlic cloves
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of sugar (optional)


If you  want to peel the tomatoes (yielding a more delicate and sweeter coulis), you can either blanche them in boiling water or blister them briefly over a flame.  Either way, the skins should slip off easily.  Core the tomatoes, then trim away any hard shoulders.  Cut into a few thick slices or chunks, salt very lightly and toss with the basil or thyme, garlic, and/or chili flakes.  Set over a strainer and let drain for about 20 minutes.  Warm the olive oil in a small skillet.  Add the tomato and smash with the back of a fork.  Raise the heat a little bit and cook for about a minute, until the tomatoes have melted and look a little bit orange.  Swirl and stir to encourage evaporation.  Mass the tomatoes on one side of the pan and tilt it; the tomatoes should barely ooze.  Cool slightly and taste.  Add a bit more salt if needed, and a pinch of sugar if you want.  This can be served any temperature.