Friday, September 4, 2009

The Very Best Way for Preserving Fresh Tomatoes

We had a huge abundance of tomatoes this year, we brought home 67 lbs. in a two week period and that doesn't count what we picked before and after, I am figuring we probably have gotten over 100 lbs. The last two years I just put my fresh tomatoes in freezer bags and froze to have for winter to make my stuff when the weather cooled down.

The trouble with that is that the tomatoes had a weird taste that no matter what I did with them, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce etc. always seem to have that taste. Well no more of that. I now know the best way to preserve tomatoes: ROAST THEM!

And the best part about this is you can either freeze for later use or make into something right then.

Slow Roasting

Oven temp 200 to 250 depending on how much time to have to watch them. If I put some on and leave it will be on 200 so they don't get a chance to burn. I use my smaller tomatoes for this. Slice in half put in a bowl and coat with olive oil. You can use whatever herbs and spices that suit you. I chop garlic, salt and pepper and use basil and Italian seasonings. Place in single layer and roast. It takes between 8 and 12 hours depending on oven temp. I take out when they have shriveled up some but still have juice. Cool then put on a plate and into the freezer to harden before freezer bagging and back into the freezer. That way they don't stick together and you can just take out a handful or what you need.

Quick Roasting

This is what they look like before going in the oven.

This method works great too and can be used as the base for any other sauce like spaghetti or chili. Oven temp 375. Remove core and slice in half. I put in 4 cloves of garlic, peppers, onions, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar and pepper to taste. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and mix. Pour all in a pan, place tomatoes skin side up and roast for 40 minutes.

After roasting let cool and remove tomato skins then I put in blender and use chop. Now you have the best tasting tomato sauce ever. Place in freezer bags and freeze.

Finished tomato sauce:

Chili Base

Use your fresh tomato sauce (if you know you are making chili base you can use chile peppers in your tomato mix) and add:
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 tbs chili powder (or to taste)

Bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Or add Italian seasonings to your tomato sauce and you have spaghetti sauce. All can be bagged and frozen for use through the winter.

Finished product, 6 pints tomato sauce base:

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