Monday, August 17, 2009

Preserving Tomatoes: Part 1

This is the first post of three where I am going to make some recommendations as to what you should do with your tomatoes. Are you ready? We're doing two a day.

They're laughing at us, you know. Little do they know... the joke's on them.

Preserving Tomatoes Recommendation #1: Roast them!

Last year was the first year I did roasted tomatoes and we could not get enough of them. Click here to read about my excitement and for directions. We used them all through the winter- in quiches, on pizza (with pesto and mozzarella), in pasta dishes, etc. If you like sun-dried tomatoes, you'll love these.

Last year, we roasted them in the oven overnight. This year, we have a food dehydrator and tried drying them in the same manner that we roasted them. As many of you could have probably told me, drying them is not the same as roasting them, even if you use the same temperature. They are certainly edible, they're just missing the sweet, tangy roasted flavor. Stick to the oven. That's how I will be doing the rest of mine. This year, I also got a little wiser and made up a large amount of the basil garlic topping to have on hand for the many upcoming roasting sessions.

Roasted tomatoes, ready for the freezer.

Preserving Tomatoes Recommendation #2: Make Tomato Soup!

I wrote about tomato soup and gave you the recipe here back in March while we were enjoying eating it. I told you I would remind you come summer. This is your reminder, folks, so get busy!

Classic Tomato Soup

Preserving Tomatoes Part 2, Part 3
Part 4
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  1. I too am a HUGE fan of grilled cheese and campbells tomato soup......So...if you say this soup is THAT GOOD...I will make this tonight....but only because you said so...I'll let you know how it goes :)

  2. Ya...let's just say that this is............... D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S....I'll be making more. What else you have for me to try?

  3. Mavis, I'm so glad you like it! Part 2 comes Wednesday:-).

  4. Question: it's really okay to do the soup in a hot water bath? There's a lot of butter in there, and I thought that made the acid content a little iffy. But if you've never had a problem with it...? Thanks for the recipe...

  5. MAC, I've never had a problem, but to increase the acidity you could certainly add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to each quart. I don't think it would change the taste too much:-).

  6. I found your blog through 100 Dollars a Month and I just can't wait to read more of your posts. We also tried roasted tomatoes this year. We called them oven dried tomatoes but I like roasted better. Our recipe said to pack in oil and they keep in the fridge for 6 months. I will try freezing too this year. We were amazed at how much they shrink down. It's such a great way to preserve a large amount of tomatoes in a small space.

  7. Okay - from now on, I do NOT care how much RAGU is on sale for (.99), I'm gonna push myself to get to canning tomato sauce! I've been dying for a great salsa recipe (canning) since forever!
    Thank God for you, lady ! Fond memories of me and my grandmother in her country kitchen blanching tomatoes and having a blast canning!
    I want to pass it down to my little girl!
    Blessings to you! (sigh of relief in reading your blog) amazing!

  8. OMG! Thank you for posting the roasted tomato recipe. I cut one tray of Roma tomatoes in thirds instead of half thinking I could get more of the finished product and they were way too "roasted" in the morning, thank goodness I only tried one tray. I had my jars ready to go and my second batch in the oven, when I looked and saw that between my kids and my oldest daughters boyfriend I didn't have enough for even one jar from first batch! These are wonderful!!

  9. Oh I need to clarify - the only reason the boyfriend was here so early in the morning is that they were getting an early start to the State Fair!

  10. Hi, I'm new to preserving and I love you tomato segment! Can you tell me if I can preserve other veggies using the roasting technique? Do they have to being frozen or can they dry enough that they can be shelved?

    1. Hi, Allyson. Roasting (as in tomatoes, red peppers, etc.) allows the food to retain some of it's moisture- quite a bit, actually, so they must be frozen. There are many fruits and veggies and that you can dry completely using a food dehydrator and then store, covered tightly in a cool, dry place. You can dry tomatoes, but to get all the moisture out, you need a dehydrator and then you miss the yummy, roasted flavor:-). I hope this helps!


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