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Organic Gardening Blogs

Chosen as one of the Top 30 Organic Gardening Blogs – March 2018

Tomatoes – Save Time; Save Freezer Space; Get Better Tasting Sauce; Recipes for Kids, Formal Dinner, Appetizer

Tomatoes are just about the most popular home grown vegetable (fruit). Many who don’t consider themselves gardeners, still grow a few tomato plants every year.

I’m so spoiled by the taste of homegrown tomatoes from my organic garden that I won’t eat tomatoes from the store — organic or otherwise.

Tomatoes from my garden.

Other Ways to Enjoy Your Tomatoes

Here are some other ways to make the most of your tomatoes that I’ve previously written about.

Recipes

Want a recipe using your fresh tomatoes that the kids will love in the summer?  That you can also use for an elegant luncheon or a formal dinner during Christmas?  One that only takes 30 minutes to make and offers a taste of summer and is sure to impress your guests?

Tomatoe Sherbet- Serve at a Summer Luncheon or as Part of Your Main Christmas Meal

Here’s a recipe that’s so simple you probably won’t believe how delicious it is until you try it yourself. Serve it a an appetizer or as the salad in a formal sit-down dinner.

If you have to restrict your intake of salt, this is a definite must-try.

The post also tells you what Organic Gardening Magazine didn’t tell you about oils.

Fresh Tomatoes – Elevated (even more) to Gourmet Status

Sauce – Saving Time, Freezer Space and Getting Better Taste

Are you one who cooks tomatoes on the stove for hours to make sauce?
Is your freezer space taken up with whole fresh tomatoes?
Would you like to save time and space and still have the great taste of summer tomatoes in a much easier-to-work-with-form?

You can use this “sauce” right out of the oven with or without spices. You can freeze it in a fraction of the space taken by whole tomatoes. Great for quick meals all year: pasta dishes, soups, or by itself as a side dish. Use in anything that calls for tomatoes, sauce, or paste.

(The thickness of what you freeze will depend on how long you cook it.)

To get all the options offered, be sure to read all four posts.

Tomatoes – Roasted for the Easiest Most Delicious Tomato Sauce

How to Make Tomato Sauce or Tomato Paste the Easy Way

Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce

Addendum to Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce

Stir the roasted tomatoes.

After you stir the roasted tomatoes, this is what the sauce will look like.

What Tomatoes Make the Best Tasting Sauce?

Tomatoes with drier texture and little or no seeds are called paste tomatoes.
Many gardeners grow them especially for use in making sauce/paste.

Over the years I’ve grown dozens of varieties of paste tomatoes and have never found one that even comes close to the taste of regular tomatoes for making sauce or paste. I don’t grow them anymore.

If you grow both, you might want to do a test. Fix a batch of sauce with paste tomatoes and one with regular tomatoes. (Since the paste tomatoes are drier they’ll be finished sooner than the regular tomatoes.)

When both are done, thoroughly cooled, and before you add any seasoning, taste each and make your decision.

Final Thoughts

Wishing you an abundance of great tomatoes for use now and throughout the winter.

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All content including photos are copyright by TendingMyGarden.com. All Rights Reserved.

8 comments to Tomatoes – Save Time; Save Freezer Space; Get Better Tasting Sauce; Recipes for Kids, Formal Dinner, Appetizer

  • Betty

    Thanks for this, Theresa! Very timely as I have tomatoes coming out of my ears! I plan to make and freeze some tomato sherbet today.

    Roasting them to can or freeze for sauce later is a lifesaver and delicious–I’ve been using your roasting instructions to reduce the volume and kick up the taste for several years now. I no longer peel the tomatoes before roasting, but puree in the blender when I’m ready to flavor and use as sauce.

    Hope you are healing well!

    Betty

  • Julie

    Theresa, I hope you are doing better these days and feeling stronger by the day.

    I had planned to spend my lunch time looking for an oven-roasted method for tomatoes, b/c I love the way tomatoes come out that way. THANK YOU for making my search time ZERO–I had to look no further than my email inbox.

    If it’s from Theresa, I know it’s good! Thank you for sharing all the associated links for this method. Can’t wait to do this with the bounty at hand. YUM!!! Hugs to you for all you share!

  • JoAnne

    Oh my gosh, I cannot wait for my tomatoes to get ripe to try this. I’d do it immediately if they were ready.
    Thank you, for the recipe.
    I do hope you are back on your feet and feeling better.
    Joanne

  • Jim Christensen

    Thanks a lot Theresa! I will be doing some serious roasting this week as lots of tomatoes now in central Iowa. First time using the oven roasted method. I have been just quartering and freezing them in the past. Much cooler here this next week so not bad running the oven.
    I feel real fortunate I discovered you back in 2014. I think I can say that I am with you on 100% the way you garden from planting to preserving.

    I grow a tomato called Independence Day that I really like.
    Best of health to you!

  • Betty Russell

    Hi Theresa, Hope you are making good progress healing and getting back on your feet again. I know this has been a difficult summer but I pray you have help with your garden and this will soon be just a memory.

    I have canned for years but never made the roasted tomatoes and I want to try some tomorrow. However, I do not have freezer space and I am wondering if it is safe to can the roasted tomatoes like I can my regular tomatoes with lemon or citric acid and processing 40 minutes. I have read and reread your newsletter but I did not see instructions for canning instead of freezing. We grow a tomato called Jet Star which was developed by University of Tn. I understand. It is a good tomato and produces well.

    Thanks for your help and all the good newsletters. Betty

  • Theresa

    Thanks everyone for your well-wishes.

    Betty T — let me know how you enjoy the sherbert. Was delighted that you’re gonna try it.
    Glad you joined me years ago in discovering how great roasted tomatoes are — in taste and in time saving.

    Julie,
    Hope you’ve tried your roasted tomatoes and loved them!

    JoAnne,
    Hope your tomatoes have ripened and that you’ve been able to roast some.

    Jim,
    Sure appreciated your nice message.
    Have made note of that Independence Day tomato
    along with Jet Star that Betty R. mentioned.

    Betty R,
    Nice to hear from you! It’s been a while.

    Years ago, before growers started breeding sweet-tomatoes you could can tomatoes without additional acid. I wouldn’t take a chance on it now. Better be safe than sorry.

    A teacher of food preservation for various organizations including the New York Botanical Gardens recommends adding 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice (fresh lemons vary in acidity) or vinegar per pint of tomatoes. Here’s the link to her article. https://www.thespruceeats.com/canning-alkaline-and-acidic-foods-1327427

    You’re gonna find that roasting those tomatoes gives them so much more flavor! 🙂
    Enjoy!
    Theresa

  • Don Rutherford

    Theresa

    I give my extra tomatoes to the neighbors and friends, but we needed tomato sauce for pasta, so I cooked a bunch of chopped tomatoes and it made wonderful sauce.

    I found that by cutting them up in a food processor I didn’t have to peel them first

    Thank you for this post.

    Don

  • Becky Owsley

    You are in my prayers, Theresa!

    The tomato plants I moved this summer are now setting fruit. I made a small bed after asking you why my raised beds weren’t producing. I’ve started redoing my old raised beds by removing the soil, adding plant compost (oak leaves) and then replacing the soil. I will mulch with more oak leaves.

    I can’t wait to start my fall garden! With much appreciation! Becky O

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