Wednesday, August 29, 2012


August has been an amazing month for harvesting tomatoes in my backyard garden. I do have trouble keeping up, but I have several ways to use and save my tomatoes for the winter ahead. My favorite use of fresh tomatoes is to make gazpacho. ( See my previous blog for my recipe) Yum!!  Fresh tomato sauce to serve over whole wheat pasta is another simple use for fresh tomatoes.

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves chopped
2 pounds of tomatoes cored and chopped small
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped ( I love basil!)
Pepper and salt to taste.
-Heat oil, add garlic and sauté carefully so as not to burn garlic! (2-3 minutes)
-Stir in tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally.
-When sauce is thickened and chunky remove from heat, and add basil, pepper and salt to taste.
-This makes about 2 cups of sauce!

The easiest method to store tomatoes for future use is simply freeze them. This works best with Roma or plum tomatoes. Core and place whole in a zip lock bag! When ready for use in soups, stews or sauces simply let sit on the counter for 5 minutes and chop while still frozen.
Purée is another easy method. Boil tomatoes with a little water process in a blender or food mill and pour into a freezer zip lock bag. Label and freeze.
The last way I use to save my tomatoes is to dry them. There is nothing like dried tomatoes added to winter greens stir fries, or used on home made pizzas! I have a dehydrator and cut tomatoes into 1/3 in thick slices. They go into the dehydrator at 125 degrees for about 9 hours. After this I store in a jar in the cupboard until ready to use.
I hope this inspires you to be creative with your delicious summer tomatoes!

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