Now is the time to pick up some amazing garden fresh and vine ripened tomatoes for the freezer, canner or dehydrator. You also have time to make your own ketchup, pizza sauce, marinara, or salsa!
Stocking Up for the Winter
Nothing is more disappointing than trying to eat a store-bought tomato in the middle of winter! They just don’t taste the same. If you take some time in the summer months when our tomatoes are at their prime, you will be rewarded with garden fresh flavor all year round.
Cherry Tomatoes: They are so sweet and taste like candy! Wash the cherry tomatoes and place on a parchment paper lined tray. Prick with a fork or slice in half. Sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, and Italian seasoning. Roast cherry tomatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from pan and store in one cup serving sizes. You can use plastic deli containers, snap pack containers or snack size plastic bags. Freeze for use later. Put on salads, pizza, or to top your favorite casseroles.
Roma Tomatoes: These tomatoes offer more meat and less seeds. Slice in half and push out the seedy insides. Place in an oven proof pan and roast with garlic, onion, and fresh basil sprinkled with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Set oven to 400 degrees and let roast for 45 minutes. The larger the roaster the longer you need to roast in the oven. Allowing the tomatoes to darken will add more depth of flavor. Remove from oven and stir. The peels can be removed easily at this point. If you don’t mind the peels, simply bag up into quart size zip top bags or other freezer proof container. These are ready for a quick pasta meal in the late winter months.
Beef Steak Tomatoes: The natural sweet flavor of our giant beef steak tomatoes is enhanced by dehydrating or freeze drying the tomatoes. Slice into equal thickness. Place on dehydrator trays, sprinkle with Italian seasoning, and dehydrate. You will have some tasty snacks or flavorful topping for pizza, toast, dips, or sandwiches.
Making Marinara Sauce
Mixing all three Tomatoes: Some of our best marinara sauce has come from a combination of all varieties of tomatoes. Washing, chop, and put into a large stock pot. Chop 2 to 3 onions, 1 or 2 bell peppers or Italian peppers, a carrot or two, and add sea salt, basil, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Allow tomatoes to cook down for 1 hour. Remove from heat. Place all ingredients into blender at high speed. Using a chinois with stand and pestle, you are ready to strain the skins and seeds out of the sauce. Return strained sauce to pot and reheat. Adjust seasoning. Freeze in quart sized containers or can in quart sized jars following safe canning practices from Oregon Extension service.
Your time spent preserving the harvest will be a blessing to your family throughout the year. Come out to Fort Vannoy Farms for the freshest produce in the Rogue Valley. Every bit counts when you are putting some aside for later!