Tag Archives | slow roasted tomatoes

Preserves in Action: Slow Roasted Tomato Dip

two cups tomatoes

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve surely heard that the Superbowl is this weekend. And despite the many hours I logged during my youth with my dad at Civic Stadium watching the Portland State Vikings, football really isn’t my thing. (I was really just there for the food.)

frozen slow roasted tomatoes

However, there is one aspect of the Superbowl I can get fully behind. The dips. And though I love all those terrible classic dips like sour cream and onion and queso made from processed cheese, I decided that this year, I would try to make a real food dip using something I squirreled away earlier in the year.

roasted tomato dip

After assessing the stores, I settled on the oven roasted tomatoes from the freezer. I plucked out 2 cups (measured while frozen) and let them defrost on the counter. When they were nice and squishy, I combined them in the blender with 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup creamy goat cheese, a generous handful of fresh basil, 2 garlic cloves and the juice of half a lemon.

roasted tomato dip

I blended them until smooth, added a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and blended again. After tasting with a pretzel, it took all my willpower to close the jar and put it in the fridge (I could have happily eaten half for dinner with an assortment of dippers). Once again, I’ll be showing up for a football game just for the food.

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Five Ways to Preserve Large Tomatoes

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Two years ago, in the final weeks before my wedding, I bought and preserved 50 pounds of tomatoes. Last summer, I upped the ante and brought home 100 pounds. This year, though I was sorely tempted to push ever upwards, I kept myself to another 100 pounds.

I realize that tomato season is coming to a close, but I thought it would be nice to round up my favorite ways to preserve big tomatoes (here are the ways that I do small tomatoes)

jar of tomatoes

Slow roasted and frozen. These tomatoes are amazing and do wonders to lift my spirits during those cold, dark months, when it doesn’t seem at all possible that fresh tomatoes will ever return.

I did 20 pounds like this a few weeks back. Instead of packing them in jars for freezing (like those pictured above), I froze them on the same cookie sheets on which they were roasted and then packed them into freezer bags. Makes it easier to grab one or two and drop them into dinner.

full jar

Whole peeled tomatoes are the backbone of my autumn and winter cooking. I use them in soups, stews, sauces, casseroles and even whir them into batches of smooth salsa. They come together fairly easily and are so incredibly useful to have in the pantry. If you do nothing else, put up a few jars of whole peeled tomatoes.

one jar of pickled red tomatoes

While you’re peeling those tomatoes for canning, set a few aside and make these pickled red tomatoes. I layer them into toasted cheese sandwiches and serve them with strong cheeses. They are unexpectedly delicious and just fun to have in your pantry for those moments when lunch or dinner needs a little extra zing.

Mrs. Wages pasta sauce

I don’t make tomato sauce every year but when I can squeeze it into the schedule, I’m never sad to have made it. Earlier this month, I stirred up five pints with the last of my 100 pound. And I cheated a bit by using this packet of Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce mix. Do I feel bad about that? Not at all! If you don’t have a spice pack laying around, I’ve also made the tomato sauce from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I most happily recommend it.

tomato butter

Tomato butter. I’ve become awfully fond of this butter that I made last summer for the Can Jam. I like to combine it with whatever leftover runny jam I have in the fridge and braise fatty hunks of meat in it. I just can’t get over how good it is.

There you have it. Five of my favorite ways to preserve large tomatoes. What’s your favorite method?

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Slow Oven-Roasted Roma Tomatoes

cookie sheets of tomatoes

I’m elbow-deep in roma tomatoes at the moment, but wanted to drop by with a few words on one of the ways I’m preserving these scrumptious gems. Long, slow roasting in a 200 degree oven. This treatment shrinks their mass, concentrates their flavor and transforms them into something savory and succulent.

tomatoes in the oven

It is so easy to do, I feel a little silly offering instructions. Wash, dry and slice the tomatoes in half. Lay them out cut-side up on parchment-lined rimmed cookie sheets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Put in the oven and roast at 200 degrees (truly, no hotter than that) for 10-12 hours. I realize that sounds like an inconveniently long time, but I tend to do this overnight, timing it so that they’re finished when I get up in the morning. Works perfectly.

finished tomatoes

I don’t can these tomatoes (honestly, I don’t think you can). I simply cool them, freeze them on the cookie sheets where they were roasted, pack them into jars or freezer bags and store them in the freezer. Easy for year-round additions to pastas, sauces, salads and more.

jar of tomatoes

Just one word of warning. They are so delicious that they may not make it into the freezer for storage. I took a cookie sheet’s worth to a potluck tonight and served them on top of baguette slices that had been smeared with goat cheese. One person told me that he doesn’t really even like tomatoes, but couldn’t stop eating these.

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