If you grow your own tomatoes, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the seemingly endless supply in your garden. Or perhaps you bought too many at the farmer’s market. Since the season is so short, why not extend your enjoyment of these juicy fruits by freezing them?
Many people make tomato sauce to can or freeze, but the simplest way to store tomatoes for later use is to roast them.
Cut each tomato into 4 wedges and place on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan (I think I’m showing my age). Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sea salt and gently mix to coat each tomato piece. Put into a pre-heated 250 oven, close the door and walk away…..for hours. The great thing about roasting tomatoes is that there is no set cooking time. If you forget about them for 5-6 hours, you’ll end up with oven-dried tomatoes, but would that be so bad? Ideally, you want the tomatoes to retain some of their juices, start to shrivel up and be a bit caramelized, about 2-3 hours.
Okay, the tomatoes are out of the oven. Now what?
If you can’t resist using the tomatoes straight out of the oven, simply add them to pasta with garlic, basil, hot pepper flakes and Parmesan.
Preparing the tomatoes for storage is hassle-free. Simply put them in a freezer bag, and throw in the freezer where they will be waiting on a cold winter’s night when you’re dreaming of summertime. Though they won’t taste as fabulous as fresh, you could puree the tomatoes into a lovely tomato soup, or make a pasta sauce for lasagna or manicotti.
You can thank me in February.