Tomato plants in are in high-production mode and they are calling out to me from my garden: “HEY! We’re Ripe! Do something quick!”
Of course, I have made a few gallons of salsa to bring to work and pass out to friends, neighbors and co-workers. They don’t call me the Salsa Fairy for nothing!
But, still more red ripe tomatoes! What to do?
I decided to make a tomato-basil sauce that can be frozen and then thawed in the dead of winter to savor the days of eating fresh tomatoes right off the plants – brushing off the dirt first, of course!
This method is ingenious! You roast the tomatoes, and while they are still hot, you add in the garlic and basil, which cooks them just enough but still retains their freshness. Genius!
Now I will have a reason to smile in February!
Happy End-of-Summer Harvest, Everyone!
— posted by Donna
I first learned that you could freeze tomato sauce from Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen, from whom I have learned so much about putting my freezer to good use. Thanks, Kalyn!
I am apparently in good company of tomato freezing folks: Culinary heavy hitter Davis Leite just posted about tomato freezer sauce a few days ago.
Janelle at Talk of Tomatoes agrees with freezing the red stuff, too.
And the Naptime Chef makes freezer-friendly sauce that looks so flavorful.
FREEZER TOMATO SAUCE
Makes about 8 cups of sauce
12 to 15 medium to large ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup diced basil leaves
8 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons powdered ascorbic acid preserver, such as Fruit Fresh
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut a large X on bottom of tomatoes. Place on baking sheet with X side up, then lightly spray with canola oil. Roast for 30 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Let cool slightly.
Over a large bowl, hold tomatoes with a KITCHEN TOWEL in one hand (so as not to burn your hand) over a large bowl. With a paring knife starting at top of X peel skin off tomatoes. Discard skins and cores of tomatoes.
Add remaining ingredients to tomatoes in bowl and mash with potato masher until very small chunks. You could also puree the tomatoes in your food processor, if you like a smoother sauce. Let cool to room temperature before freezing.
Freeze for up to 12 months.