tomato preserving
PHOTOGRAPH BY JACKJELLY/GETTY

3 Super Simple Ways To Preserve Garden Tomatoes

Save some of summer’s best for later by pickling, canning, and oven-drying.

July 27, 2015

When growing tomatoes, you hope a good season, when little seedlings might grow into prolific plants that leave you with extra plump fruit to enjoy all summer long. Here are three ways to make the most of your bounty in the kitchen. 

Pickled
Cut 2 pounds green tomatoes into wedges. Bring 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, and 2 tablespoons pickling salt to a boil. Peel and halve 3 cloves of garlic. Pack 3 hot, sterilized pint jars with 2 garlic halves, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons pickling spice each. Pack in tomato wedges. Pour hot brine over tomatoes. Remove any air bubbles, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe rims, then seal with hot, sterilized lids. Place onto a rack submerged in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (making sure entire jar is covered), adjusting for altitude if necessary. Remove jars and cool, checking for seal after 24 hours. Pickles will be best after a few weeks. 

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Canned
Core 4 pounds (about 14 medium) tomatoes and score an X in the bottom of each. Blanch in boiling water for 30–60 seconds. Retrieve with tongs and dunk immediately in a bowl of ice water. Remove the skins. Quarter the skinned tomatoes into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Ladle hot tomatoes into hot, sterilized quart jars, crushing the tomatoes gently. Add ¼ teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each jar; remove any air bubbles, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe rims, then seal with hot, sterilized lids. Place onto a rack submerged in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes (making sure entire jar is covered), adjusting for altitude if necessary. Remove jars and cool, checking for seal after 24 hours. Properly canned tomatoes will keep at room temperature for 6 months to a year. Makes 2 quarts. 

 

Oven-Dried
Heat oven to 225 degrees. Halve 2 pounds (about 7 medium) tomatoes and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 10–15 hours, or until shriveled. Tomatoes can be covered in oil and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for up to 6 months. Makes about 1½ cups.

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