Sometimes it’s just too hot to cook indoors and grilling a simple piece of fish or chicken outdoors is the best strategy to avoid a sweltering kitchen. This tomato based sauce can dress up a barren piece of protein, jazz up eggs or grilled vegetables or even be tossed with cold pasta for a delightful side dish. This microwave sauce comes together quickly and is even better the next day.



1 C                                         onion, chopped

4 cloves                             garlic, minced

1 T                                         olive oil

1 t                                         dried oregano

¼ t                                         dried fennel

2#                                          fresh tomatoes, chopped with juice

2 ea                                      ribs celery, minced

1 ea                                      zucchini, chopped

2 T                                         pitted black or green olives, minced

1 T                                         capers, rinsed

¼ C                                        fresh basil, chopped

2 T                                         fresh parsley, chopped

1 t                                         orange zest

As needed                        Sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a microwave safe bowl combine onion, garlic, olive oil, dried oregano and fennel.  Cover and microwave on high power for 1 minute.  Stir in chopped celery and tomatoes along with their juice.  Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4-5 minutes.  Stop cooking midway through and stir to prevent scorching.  Add zucchini, basil, parsley, capers, orange zest and olives.  Let sauce stand for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to develop and intensify.  Taste for sweetness, salt and pepper.  Leftovers may be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen indefinitely.

Yield 4-5 Cups