I finally have a tomato harvest! I have to say that my garden did not produce nearly what I had anticipated. However, it is finally at the stage where our tomato harvest has outpaced our tomato eating!
I really don’t love canned tomatoes. It’s fine if you often eat chili or spaghetti, but our household doesn’t go that route often enough to make it worth the effort of the canning process. Plus, I would imagine that I am like most people in that I don’t plant nearly enough tomatoes that I have a huge harvest all at once. Since I don’t plan on canning weekly, freezing it is! I have two ways that I choose to preserve tomatoes in the freezer. The first is my super easy, super lazy way. I wash them, cut out the core, and store them in a gallon ziplock freezer bag. When we’re ready to eat tomatoes, I take them out and partially defrost them, peel the skins off and drop them into soups or chili. So. Easy.
The second way comes from the fact that I love roasted tomatoes. Some of my favorite dishes are pasta dishes with roasted tomatoes tossed in or Tyler Florence’s roasted tomato soup. So this year I thought I’d go that route with some of my small batches of overabundance. All I do is clean them, core them, cut them in chunks, toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and add a generous amount of whole garlic cloves and onion chunks.
OK, I usually do a LOT more than this, so I don’t know why this picture is so sparse on the tomatoes! I roast them at 425 degrees for about 40min-1hr, stirring every ten minutes or so. I like to let them cook down for an hour if it’s a single layer. The ones I have pictured below filled 5 large pans (approx. 9×13) almost to the top. So these puppies cooked for 3 hours. They were so deep red and delicious looking. After you remove them from the oven, let them cool and then store flat in a quart Ziplock bag in your freezer.
I’d love to hear how you use your roasted tomatoes — I’m always looking for new recipes!