Recipe Freezing Tomatoes Preserving Garden Tomatoes
Freezing Tomatoes Recipes
Tomatoes (solanum lycopersicum) have a typically red fruit and originated in South America. Tomatoes were spread around the world by the Spanish. They found tomatoes in South America.
Did you know the tomato is considered a fruit? For all practical purposes it is treated like a vegetable. The USA Supreme Court even weighed in and gave their solemn opinion regarding whether the tomato is a fruit or vegetable; their decision was it is vegetable.
Europeans were cooking with the tomato only as recently as a cookbook printed in Naples Italy in 1692. So, no tomato sauce on pasta until the tomato was discovered and brought to Europe by the Conquistadores!
Tomato is derived from the Aztec word tomati that means ‘the swelling fruit.’
Tomatoes are very healthy for you. They are full of the powerful antioxidant lycopene. They are also full of antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory protection. Here is a great article from March of 2011 on just how healthy tomatoes are for you: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301091338.htm
Here is what I know. They taste great and are very versatile and low in calories.
They also grow very well in my garden in New Mexico.
This year we planted six plants in the garden. The little yellow sweet tomato plant is endeavoring to take over the world and we can harvest upwards of 50 of them a day! The little red sweet tomato is doing quite well but suffers due to being a close neighbor to the world-conquering little yellow sweet tomato.
We have a large yellow tomato that is also producing very well and an Early Girl red tomato that also produces well.
We tried one of the purple so-called ‘Russian’ tomato plants. This year the ‘Russian’ tomato plant was very strong and healthy but the blooms were not throwing tomatoes. It was too hot during most of the summer for the Russian bred tomato. Now that the evenings are getting cooler the ‘Russian’ tomato plant is bursting with lovely fast growing BIG tomatoes. The fruit of the 'Russian' tomato will be purple!
When tomatoes are producing they produce many tomatoes in a small amount of time. It is always a challenge to preserve them on their producing time table! So, here is a way to do it in small batches.
Here is how to roast or simmer tomatoes for freezing.
Recipe(s) for freezing tomatoes
This is adapted from the multi-generational canning tomato recipe. I prefer freezing, so I adapted the recipe.
Chop enough tomatoes to fill your cooking pot nearly full.
Chop ½ onion
Chop 1 green pepper (the sweet not the chile pepper ones)
¼ C. apple cider vinegar
½ C. sugar
Place the tomatoes, onion and green pepper in the cooking pot.
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat immediately to simmer
Simmer, stir and mash (with a potato masher as needed) until the mixture has reduced by 1/3
Add the apple cider vinegar and the sugar
Stir and taste (just to make sure it is good, and it will be!)
Place in freezer containers
Once frozen, pop the frozen block of the sauced but chunky tomatoes out of the container and place in a plastic bag labeled with the name of the food and the date frozen.
There, you have a base for soups, stews, pastas, and meats!
Recipe for Italian Freezer Tomatoes
Wash and slice enough tomatoes and sweet peppers to cover one layer of a baking pan.
Mix in with the tomatoes
Roughly chop 1-2 garlic cloves (or more if you wish) and mix in with the tomatoes and peppers.
Toss all of this with about 3 T. olive oil and 1 t. of coarse ground or kosher salt
Bake all of this at 325° until the skins of the tomatoes are pulling away and a bit of charring is showing.
Freeze in freezer containers
Once frozen, pop the blocks of tomatoes out of the containers and place in plastic bags labeled with the name of the food and the date frozen.
This makes a great base for pasta sauces. I use it on pasta, making eggplant parmesan, Steak Pizaiola etc!! After they thaw you may blend them with a hand blender to a finer consistency.
I think the first recipe made on the stove is easier BUT I don’t like washing the baking pan, so I am definitely prejudiced by that! Both taste good though!
Do try them both and make your own decision!