Freeze those Tomatoes

By Patricia Zick @PCZick

The tomatoes aren’t producing enough this year for me to make my Italian sauce or salsa. The peppers aren’t doing well either. We blame it on the weather, which has been too wet here for the tomatoes liking. We are getting enough tomatoes to eat at least once a day. I’ve also managed to freeze a half dozen bags of tomatoes for sauce this winter. The sauce I make from the frozen tomatoes is our favorite.

Here’s an excerpt from From Seed to Table on how to freeze and then use those tomatoes in a few months – if you can wait that long.

 

cover - lst draft

 

I asked my Facebook friends if they knew anything about freezing tomatoes, and I received some interesting suggestions. But after canning dozens of quarts of sauces, I wanted simple. I washed the whole tomatoes and let them dry. Then I placed them on a cookie sheet that I put in the freezer. Once the tomatoes were frozen, I transferred them to ziplock baggies where they stayed until I needed them for a sauce. They won’t be much good for putting raw on a salad, but they make a delicious Italian sauce or salsa.

 

 

Pasta Sauce from Frozen Tomatoes

10 frozen whole tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1 chopped onion

several chopped peppers – I use both sweet and hot peppers

fresh or dried herbs in any combination and to taste: basil, oregano, thyme, fennel, tarragon

salt and pepper

Remove tomatoes from freezer and put in refrigerator for 4-5 hours. Rinse under hot water for a few seconds until skins peel off easily. Let skinned tomatoes sit for an hour or until core can be cut out easily.

In the meantime, sauté onions, garlic, peppers (or anything else you’d like to add such as mushrooms, carrots, or olives) and herbs.

Chop tomatoes, even if they’re still partially frozen, throw pieces into pan with sautéed mix.

Bring to boil then put on low for several hours, stirring occasionally. When sauce is reduced enough, it’s time to use sauce in your favorite Italian dish.

What’s going on in your garden this year????????????????????????????????

 

From Seed to Table – Growing, Harvesting, Cooking, and Preserving Food is available for Kindle on Amazon for $4.99.

S2T-6

7 thoughts on “Freeze those Tomatoes

  1. I don’t know if this is a freezing method that you’ve already heard or used, but I’ve had good results with blanching for a few seconds in boiling water, shocking in ice water, removing skin, squeezing excess moisture and freezing in ziplocks.

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  2. Our garden was hit and miss this year. Herbs, lettuce, and cucumbers did well. Peppers were out of this world. My dog ate our corn before we could. I guess he figured out how to jump the fence. Our tomatoes had some kind of disease, and our zucchini got eaten by some grey bug I’ve never seen before. Still waiting on the watermelon and canteloupe. They’re close, but not quite there yet. (I know that because my dog somehow managed to get his mouth around a canteloupe… it wasn’t ripe yet.) Of course the weeds thrived, but where don’t they? I’ve never frozen a tomato. If we get a better yield next year, I’ll try it.

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  3. We’re having a semi-drought so I bring old OJ containers filled with water and dump them on my tomatoes, cilantro, and mint. This seems to work well! It’s easier than dragging out the hose and wasting water. My heirloom tomatoes are doing great and I’ve got a bowl-full in the kitchen so I’m eating tomatoes as fast as I can! I ate 25 cherry tomatoes for dinner! I didn’t plant these things, they self-seed every summer! I’m glad I plucked some of them out! LOL! My chives bolted and flowered and that attracted a lot of bees, mostly the bumble bee kind. It was nice to see them at first but then it got to be too many so I lopped off the flowers and that solved the problem. I couldn’t get to my tomatoes what with all the bees! Never had that happen before. I froze roma tomatoes before when I had too many. I made ketchup and tomato sauce out of them. I don’t remember any problems doing it that way. My parsley never came up and my sage plant (s) are doing great and I don’t even bother watering them – nothing would kill them! My thyme is looking a bit ragged so I should trim it and water it before it dies. I tried growing rosemary using a root powder for a few sprigs a friend gave me. Nothing took and I made 4 attempts. Good thing I bought the dried kind! I never have any luck with peppers!

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    • We’re getting grape tomatoes and we’re eating them like you are. This has been a very different year for sure. The way you’re watering the tomatoes is probably very wise. Our beets, onions, garlic, and potatoes are thriving – we’ll have them all winter. Our herbs didn’t do much this year. It’s so hard to plan things such as cilantro and dill for salsa and pickles. I gave up this year because they bolted before the tomatoes and cucumbers. We love our sage. We burn it in the house and it’s lovely. It helps clear my sinuses. Good to hear from you.

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