So, around this time of year is when you start to become overrun with tomatoes. And I'm becoming overrun faster than most because I'm the only person eatin' 'em! So, last week I decided to try two of my preserving recipes from my Put 'Em Up Book.
First up, oven roated tomatoes. I wasn't quite sure how these were going to turn out, but the recipe was super simple. And honestly, I thought they might turn out a bit like sun-dried tomatoes. Not quite, but I'll definitely be thinking of some uses for them in the weeks to come. So, here's how it goes...start out with five pounds of tomatoes.
Slice them in half and toss with any light-flavored oil, I used extra virgin olive oil. Then, arrange them cut-side up on a baking sheet (or two).
Roast at 250 degrees for 5-6 hours, until the tomatoes are shriveled and browned in spots. Here they are part way through the roasting time.
Since I didn't want to use these all up immediately, I used my Food Saver to preserve them for the freezer. The book says you can save these in the freezer within 4-oz. containers for up to 6 months. I told my MIL what I did and she said that they'll probably last waaaay longer stored in my air-tight bags.
Do you have a Food Saver? They are the best thing since sliced bread, if you ask me. I bought one with the gift cards from our wedding almost two years ago and I love, love, love it! Highly recommend investing in one. Here's what ours looks like, black to go with our other black and red appliances!
Next up, tomato paste! I make homemade pizza a lot. I mean, a lot. And the number one ingredient in my pizza sauce recipe is tomato paste. So, what better way to put our tomatoes to good use? And luckily, this is a super easy recipe too!
I started out with another five pounds of tomatoes. Lug out two huge pots and fill with water. Bring one big pot of water to a boil and heavily ice the other. Drop the tomatoes, one pound at a time, in the boiling water. Blanch until the skin begins to loosen, approximately 60 seconds.
At this point...Molly said I was being too boring for not playing with her and decided to go lay down in her "chaise lounge."
Scoop the tomatoes out of the boiling water and plunge them into the ice bath. Continue blanching in batches until you're done. Funny, the tomatoes don't look very different to me, just kinda wrinkly and split.
At this point you want to core the tomatoes and then peel the skin away with a paring knife. Puree the tomatoes. I had to do this in batches...
Then, pour the entire mixture in a large pan.
Roast at 425 degrees for approximately an hour and half, stirring occasionally. When it's done, you can part the mixture when you run a spatula through the middle. Like so...
Refrigerated, this can last for up to a week. Frozen in 4-oz. containers, it supposedly can last up to six months. Yet again, I choose the Food Saver route.
We'll see how these tomato preservation methods pan out soon! In the meantime, I have a whole 'nother load of tomatoes sitting on my counter! I think salsa is in our future tonight...the one way David will eat raw tomatoes, lol!