Tips for Freezing Your Tomato Harvest
No time to can your tomatoes? Freeze them! Start with these tips (below), allowing 2½ to 3½ pounds unblemished tomatoes per quart.
CRUSHED TOMATOES: Wash and peel tomatoes. Cut into quarters; add enough to a large pan to cover bottom in a single layer. Crush with a wooden spoon. Heat and stir until boiling. Slowly add any remaining tomato pieces, stirring constantly. Simmer for 5 minutes. Set pan of tomatoes in ice water to cool. TO FREEZE: Fill containers, leaving a 1-inch headspace. If desired, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt for pints or ½ to 1 teaspoon salt for quarts. Cover; freeze up to 6 months.
WHOLE OR HALVED, WITH NO ADDED LIQUID: Wash and peel tomatoes; halve, if desired. TO FREEZE: Fill freezer containers, leaving a 1-inch headspace. If desired, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt for pints or ½ to 1 teaspoon salt for quarts. Cover; freeze up to 6 months. (NOTE: Use frozen thawed tomatoes for cooking only. Freezing changes the texture.)
WHOLE OR HALVED, PACKED IN WATER: Wash and peel tomatoes; halve, if desired. Heat all of the tomatoes in a saucepan with just enough water to cover; simmer for 5 minutes. Set pan of tomatoes in cold water to cool. TO FREEZE: Fill containers, leaving a 1-inch headspace. If desired, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt for pints or ½ to 1 teaspoon salt for quarts. Cover; freeze up to 6 months.
Freezer Tomato Sauce
prep 40 minutes cook 1 hour
freeze up to 6 months
6 lb. roma tomatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
1½ cups chopped onions
½ cup chopped celery
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. sugar
1 to 2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 fresh red cayenne chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh oregano or 2 tsp. dried
1 to 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1 to 2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1. In a large kettle or pot bring 4 inches of water to boiling. Immerse tomatoes, a few at a time, in boiling water 1 minute. Drain in a colander; peel, seed, and chop tomatoes. Measure 10 cups chopped tomatoes.
2. In the same kettle heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Add chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt, black pepper, and if desired, cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in oregano and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes more. Cool slightly.
3. In a food processor pulse sauce, one-fourth at a time, to desired texture. (Or press tomato mixture through a food mill.) Transfer sauce to a bowl. Place bowl of sauce in a sink filled with ice water; stir sauce to cool. Ladle sauce into pint freezer containers. Seal and label; freeze up to 6 months.
4. To thaw one portion, remove sauce from freezer container and place in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. (Or in a 1-qt. casserole microwave 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally.) Serve hot sauce over pasta.
Makes 3 to 4 pints.
per 3⁄4 cup 97 cal., 3 g fat, 0 mg chol., 206 mg
sodium, 17 g carb., 0 g fiber, 3 g pro.
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