3 Super Simple Ways To Preserve All Those Summer Tomatoes

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

August 21, 2017
tomato preserving
PHOTOGRAPH BY JACKJELLY/GETTY

Whether you're growing tomatoes in your garden, or you've picked up a sweet deal on a few pounds at your farmer's market, there's a point in the season when they're so abundant, affordable and ripe, it seems a shame not to try and make these beauties last beyond summer. Here are three ways to make the most of your bounty in the kitchen. 

(On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today.)

Advertisement
Advertisement

pickled green tomatoes in a mason jar
Bill Boch/ Getty

Pickled Green Tomatoes

2 pounds (about 7 medium) green tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
6 teaspoons sugar
6 teaspoons pickling spice

Bring the vinegar, water, and pickling salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Divide the garlic, sugar and pickling spice evenly between 3 hot, sterilized pint jars. Pack in the tomato wedges. Pour the hot brine over the 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. 

 

Related: 3 Easy Homemade Pickle Recipes You Can Make In 2 Minutes


 

Tomatoes being chopped for canning
CaitlinGarvey/Getty

Canned

4 pounds (about 14 medium) tomatoes
Citric acid or lemon juice

Core the 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 iced 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. 

 

Related: 7 Essential Steps To Home Canning

A baking tray of oven-dried tomatoes
anamaria63/Getty

Oven-Dried

2 pounds (about 7 medium) tomatoes
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 225F degrees. Halve the 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.

Comments