Tomato is one plant which never disappoints in terms of produce, if basics are done right. In our organic terrace garden tomato is in fact one of the most highly producing plants (here is my earlier post on how to grow tomatoes). Generally we grow around eight to ten regular tomato and four to five cherry tomato plants every winter and we have never had to buy tomatoes from the market. In fact there is a lot of surplus and even after sharing some of it with our neighbors we are still left with lots and lots of fresh and juicy tomatoes. And that is when my sister Smita Mallick who is a budding chef and food blogger comes to rescue. She preserves the tomatoes in various way which makes them even more delicious and I really mean it. She has been kind enough to write the following post on How to Preserve Tomatoes.
Though tomato is grown only in winter, we have been enjoying the taste of our own home grown produce throughout the year because of her preserves. I am sure this post will enable you to do the same. Please don’t forget to follow Smita at Instagram and let her know whether you liked the post or not. 🙂
Smita Mallick's Post Starts Here. All images in this post are © Smita Mallick.
There are multiple ways of how to preserve tomatoes for a longer time. The easiest way is to store them is to freeze them in a zip pouch after blanching and taking out skin and seeds. Cherry tomatoes can be directly frozen and stored in a zip pouch. In this post however I am going to show you two step by step methods of preserving tomatoes which do involve a little effort. But in these ways tomatoes can be stored up to a year and also makes the tomatoes even tastier. The first preservation method is making tomato paste and the second one is to sun dry the tomatoes.
For this recipe you can use any type of tomatoes. Working with cherry tomatoes for this recipe can be a little tiresome as each tomato needs to be de-seeded by hand. Hence you can choose to use regular tomatoes for this recipe. Sun dried tomatoes can be used directly in pasta and other dishes. To use them in salads you need to soak them in warm water for 3 to 4 minutes before use. You need now throw away the seeds. They can be stored for the next season.
- Fresh Tomatoes – 1 kg
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Dried mixed herbs – 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Wash the tomatoes and pat dry with kitchen towel.
- Cut them into two halves and take out all the seeds and the juice.
- Add dried mix Italian herb, salt and olive oil to the tomatoes and mix well.
- Grease any plate or tray with olive oil and put the tomatoes skin side down.
- Arrange the tomatoes such that each individual piece is separated. This way all pieces will get access to sunlight.
- Sun dry it for 4 to 5 days or till the moisture evaporates. Sun rays not only help evaporate the moisture, they also help in killing bacteria.
- Store the sun dried tomatoes in an air tight jar and keep it in refrigerator.
- These can be stored up to a year
For this recipe you can use any kind of tomatoes. Tomatoes are not de-seeded individually; hence cherry tomatoes can also be used without much fuss. Tomato paste is typically used in stews, soups, pilaf, pasta etc. The flavors are concentrated and hence just one spoons can change the flavor profile of your dish completely; in a good way of course.
- Fresh tomatoes – 1 kg
- Dried Italian Herbs – 1 tbps
- Vinegar – 1 tsp
- Olive Oil – 1 tsp for baking and 3 tbsp for cooking
Wash the tomatoes and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut them into two halves.
- Add dried Italian herb mix and drizzle olive oil. Don’t add much Olive oil; it is just to coat the herbs.
- Grease baking tray with olive oil and arrange the tomatoes skin side down. You can add some fresh herbs (optional) at this point. Here we added some fresh Italian basil from our organic terrace garden.
- Bake the tomatoes for 30 to 40 mins on 180-200 degree centigrade and then take out the tomatoes from the oven and cool.
- Blend the tomatoes using a food processor or blender. Make sure that you do not add any water to it.
- Strain the tomato paste using a strainer and put the pureed tomato in a deep pan with a thick base. Add some more dried herbs at this point if you need more flavor.
- Add vinegar to the tomato paste at this point.
- Cook it in a low-med heat till about 90% of the water evaporates.Keep
stirring in between so that the paste does not burn at the bottom.
- Add olive (3tbsp) oil to it. Cook for another 10 min in a low heat while stirring.
- Switch of the flame, when the oil separates from the paste.
- Let it cool. Tomato paste is now ready to be stored.
- Transfer to an air tight glass jar and label the jar with date.
- Store it in refrigerator. You can store it for a year.
I hope this post on how to preserve tomatoes will be useful for you and if you use these recipes to make sun dried tomatoes of tomato paste, don’t forget to post the pics and tag me on instagram. 🙂