I try to avoid buying certain things (like tomatoes) out of season. There’s the carbon footprint associated with buying produce trucked in from who knows where and most things just don’t taste the same out of season. You know what I’m talking about right; those mealy, bland, pale, tomatoes? Insert yucky face here. Preserving allows me to enjoy all my favorite late summer and early fall produce, picked at it’s peak, all winter long, and is also a great way to connect with the seasons, reduce food and packaging waste, and foster a sense of self-sufficiency. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my go to methods for preserving the season’s bounty in a series of posts that I hope will inspire you to do some preserving of your own. Let’s get started!
HOW TO PRESERVE TOMATOES:
- Slow roast them: Slow roasted tomatoes are seriously THE BEST! They’re packed with flavor and are great on toast, tossed with pasta, and added to smoky lentil tacos. Here’s a rough recipe: Slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half and arrange in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet . Nestle in several sprigs of thyme and rosemary, sprinkle with salt, and douse liberally in olive oil. Roast at 300°F for 3 hours. Once cool enough to handle, pack the roasted tomatoes into small jars, add some fresh oregano, and top with a few glugs of olive oil. If you want a more formal recipe, I recommend this one. Store in the freezer and thaw out, one jar at a time, as needed.
- Make tomato paste: I love using tomato paste in soups and stews for added depth of flavor. Here’s a rough recipe: Chop a ton of roma tomatoes into quarters. Add to a large pot with some olive oil and a little salt and cook until soft. Press through a food mill, discarding the pulp. Pour the tomato puree onto several rimmed baking sheets and cook in the oven at 300°F for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened and deep red in color. Transfer the tomato paste to a silicone ice cube mold and freeze until solid. Store the cubes in a bag or airtight container and thaw out one at a time as needed. Here’s a full recipe and be sure to head over to my Instagram story highlights to see the whole process.
Share your favorite way to preserve tomatoes in the comments below…