It seems we wait all year for just the right time to pluck those ruby red and yellow globes from our gardens or farm stands, and then all too soon they are gone. Goodness knows we don’t want to then depend on the grocery store for a new supply, because we are all about seasonal produce. Do you really need a flavorless tomato in January from Chile? Methinks no.
So in the interest of preserving the fullest flavors possible from this great source of lycopene and vitamin C, I have immersed myself in the kitchen canning and roasting tomatoes for sauces and stews in the months ahead. It’s also therapeutic and economical.
This is the first of a three-part series on prepping tomatoes for future use, and recipes to enjoy today. Its not too late to grab the last of San Marzanos, Romas or plum tomatoes from the farmers’ markets. And they’re at a great price now. YUM.
Preheat oven to 300. Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Put in bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss with sea salt, garlic powder and fresh ground pepper to taste. Be careful not to overdo the salt, as they become pretty concentrated when roasted.
Place cut-side up on cookie sheet or roasting pan lined with parchment. Bake for two hours or until tomatoes are about half their original size. You might want to check on them after 60 minutes to make sure the outer ones don’t burn.
Once cooled, you can either store them in the refrigerator in oil, or vacuum seal them and stash in the freezer. When ready to use, add fresh garlic and herbs, and whatever meat source you desire.
Next up: late summer dishes using…uh, tomatoes!