Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Wealth of Tomatoes

The tomato vines are sagging with fruit and I picked quite a few this morning. The Cherokee Purples can wait a few days but there are ripe plum tomatoes to deal with Now.



We haven't used any spray so a quick rinse to wash away the dust is all that's needed.

This is a lazy woman's way of preserving plum tomatoes. Remove the stem; cut tomatoes in half; cover with olive oil and a good bit of Konriko Creole seasoning ( or some other seasoned salt.) Bake at 350 till an enchanting aroma fills the house and makes your mouth water. (If you want to gild the lily, you can slice some onions and add then before baking.)



The result --about three hours later -- is great on pasta or pizza or in salads. The roasted tomatoes can be cooled and frozen in plastic freezer bags. Don't discard the oil -- it has a wonderful flavor.

Not only is this the easiest way I know of preserving tomatoes, it's the most delicious, filling your freezer with the distillation of summer.



UPDATE & CLARIFICATION

Liz emailed, in justifiable confusion, pointing out that this post says to roast at 350 for 3 hours while on my website it says 200 degrees. Oops. The thing is that 200 degrees takes forever -- that's more for making dried or semi-dried tomatoes. I got impatient and recently upped the temp. The tomatoes in this post aren't dried -- just concentrated.
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10 comments:

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Lord, Vicki, what a crop! And I thought I had a lot of tomatoes acomin' in.
Your preservation method sounds wonderful and well worth trying. It reminds me of the slow roasted tomato recipe in Bringing Tuscany Home, which you can use with fresh or canned tomatoes. I use this, too, on pizza and in the fabulous Chicken and Olive recipe that Frances Mayes's husband created. Thank you for the suggestion.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, they are so good! I burn my fingers eating them as soon as they come out of the oven, dripping oil down my front in my greed.

This works pretty well with the pale pink tomatoes the stores have in winter -- when you've eaten up what you put by in summer.

Pat in TN said...

I have never heard of this way of preserving, but it sounds interesting and quite yummy ... my tomatoes are coming on like mad, so yes, I'm gonna give it a try. Thanks for sharing ....

Susan M. Bell said...

Well, since I only have one really healthy tomato plant, and one still struggling along, I don't think I will have near the number you do. (Especially since I found two on the good plant today that look like they are rotting before they even get past the green stage.) I don't like raw tomatoes, but roasting them like that sounds good. IF nothing else, I'll buy some locally grown and try it.
Thanks for the tip.

Vicki Lane said...

Susan, that's heartbreaking. But a gardener always knows that next year will be better. And the roasting really does wonders to store bought maters.

We just had fancy BLT sandwiches for supper- toasted ciabatta, hog jowl bacon, some roasted tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and grilled chicken. No mayo -- just some of the oil the maters cooked in. Right good, if I do say so.

Tammy said...

I'm with Susan on having a poor 'mater 'crop' this year. I have several green ones coming on though--if they survive and don't end up as green fried tomatoes! This preservation method looks so yummy! I have to try it, so if I don't get any of my own, I'll stock up the next time I'm at the Amish produce stand. Thanks for sharing, and the pictures are wonderful.
Tammy

Deana B. said...

This sounds so good! But I have smallish regular Early Girl tomatoes. Would they need to be cut differently? I've never roasted anything to freeze, so I need coaching, if you've got the time to answer what might be a really obvious question.

Vicki Lane said...

Well, let's see -- I've only ever used plum tomatoes. You want the cut side up so that the juice will stay put and evaporate in place, rather than running into the pan. I think I'd just cut those Early Girls in half around their equators, if you know what I mean. Depending on their size, and since they're probably juicier than plum tomatoes,it might take longer. If they start to blacken too muuch but still aren't dried out enough, cut the heat down to 300. Worth a try!

JLC said...

Lucky you! And you brought back such happy memories of the summer I discovered roasting tomatoes. Now, of course, I'll have to find one of your books and taste that! As a relative newcomer to the neighborhood (Morganton) I have a lot to learn!

Vicki Lane said...

Welcome, Joan! I wish I'd known about roasting tomatoes years ago! But I'm doing my best to make up for lost time.