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Preserving in Small Batches- Roasted Tomatoes

If you find yourself with a batch of tomatoes that is too small to can, and too big to eat, there is no easier way to preserve them than roasting them and freezing them. There is nothing better than pulling out a batch of sun ripened tomatoes in the winter to really add richness to your winter stews. From my experience, Roma or paste tomatoes work best but I've used this same process with big beefsteaks or heirlooms with positive results. The best part is this takes about 15 minutes of processing time and the rest of the time, the tomatoes are baking in your oven and filling your house with the most wonderful aroma!

If you have paste tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half. You will need about 20 to fill a cookie sheet. If you are using a bigger tomato, quarter them.


Toss the tomatoes with olive oil- Just enough to coat them. At this point, you should also add course salt and pepper and any herbs of your choosing. Ground Fennel, Basil, Oregano, Sage and Marjoram all work well. I used fresh basil for this batch because I have a ton of it.


Mix the oil and seasonings well throughout the tomatoes. I use my bare hands to turn it over several times. Don't forget to taste test. This is the best part. They taste wonderful at this point. You wouldn't be the first person to decide to forgo the roasting phase, and just eat them as a fresh tomato salad.


If you carry on with roasting, line tomatoes on a cookie sheet. I use parchment paper to line the cookie sheet because the tomatoes are going to carmalize and leave black spots on the cookie sheet. You can also just spray the cookie sheet with an olive oil mister. Put the tomatoes in an oven preheated to 250 degrees.

The remains of the the tomato juice and seasonings will be in your original bowl and this makes a fantastic fresh salad dressing.


This is the finished product. I had every intent of taking pictures along the way, but I got distracted. Basically, it should take 6-8 hours. After 3 hours, you will notice the skins of the tomatoes are wrinkling. At this point, a wonderful tomato aroma should fill your house. After 6 hours, the tomatoes begin to really shrivel. You may need to start removing the smaller tomatoes at this point. After about 2 more hours, the tomatoes will be ready. Most of the tomato should pull away easily from the skin. After they cool, you are ready to pop them in a freezer bag or an appropriate freezer container and put them in the freezer until ready for use.


I wait for a cold night in the middle of the winter to pull them out again.

Views: 319

Comment by Pat Johnson on August 19, 2010 at 9:59am
I like it! I did a bunch of sundried (actually dehydrator dried) "Grape" tomatoes this year. I didn't do the roasting but may try another batch while the tomato prices are cheap (My garden is trough for the summer).You're sound really good. I like the grape tomatos in many cases because the resulting product is small enough to add to pizzas and salads without having to chop them up. I'll try to take a picture of my lovelies and add it later. The Romas seem to be the best overall for me because they are meaty and big enough that you can easily cut and fill a dehydrator (It takes a lot of grape tomoatoes to fill one). I'll let you know how my roasted tomatoes come out.
Comment by Brea Brumby on August 19, 2010 at 8:27pm
Sounds great, that is a great point about the grape tomatoes being the perfect size for pizzas.
Comment by Janine Roe on August 20, 2010 at 10:17am
Thanks for posting this! I'm going to try out this recipe! :)
Comment by Allen Frost on August 20, 2010 at 6:57pm
That sounds great. I just came home with a five gallon bucket of tomatoes and was wondering what I was going to do with them.
Comment by Sonya Whittaker on August 25, 2010 at 7:47pm
Tomatoes are cooking in my oven now! Thanks so much for posting this! I am always looking for different ways to preserve food. I also love the pics! They are a great reference.
Comment by Dave Brannen on August 26, 2010 at 7:23pm
I put mine on the grill whole, the grill is 600 degrees, and it only takes a few minutes. The I put them in a sealed container to "sweat" them while they cool. The skins and stems come right off and into the freezer they go. Just like poblano's.
Comment by Brea Brumby on August 26, 2010 at 8:15pm
Dave, that is a great suggestion. I may try that this weekend.
Comment by Dave Brannen on August 26, 2010 at 8:29pm
and a little smoke is good too!
Comment by Christine A on September 3, 2010 at 8:01am
It's not even 8 am and I'm hankerin' for roasted tomatoes. Did some for dinner last week (love the dressing hint), but hadn't thought to do this for the winter. Your directions and photos are fantastic! Thank you. :)
Comment by Brea Brumby on September 3, 2010 at 8:14pm
Thanks so much Christine!

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