If you’re anything like my family, this time of year means too many tomatoes. It is an awesome problem to have. We get more tomatoes than we can reasonably consume from our amazing CSA, Honey Brook Organic Farm, that we have belonged to for 6 years. And, for the past few years, my in-laws have maintained their own backyard vegetable garden that consistently has miraculous harvests (I’m kind of convinced my in-laws are shockingly proficient at everything) and they often gift us with more tomatoes.
What to do? I don’t know how to can (Yet – but that hobby is imminent. Stay my friend and maybe you’ll see me learn. Too desperate?). So I oven-roast. This may sound like a no-brainer to you but during my first year at Honey Brook, I carefully scored, blanched, chill-bathed, pealed, deseeded, and cooked down tomatoes into sauce. It is hot, time-consuming, alternately finger scorching and freezing, and exhausting work. Here’s what I do now.
- Tomatoes (of any type just try to make sure your sizes are relatively the same on the same pan)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tomatoes into thick slices and place them on parchment paper on a baking sheet with the skins down. Scatter your unpeeled garlic cloves in the pan. Sprinkle the whole thing with olive oil and salt. Put in the oven for about an hour — sometimes more and sometimes less depending on the size of your tomatoes.
You’re left with a tray of sweet tomatoey goodness. If I can resist eating the whole tray, I usually put the tomatoes (with the skins) and the garlic (without the peel) into a ball jar 3/4 full and freeze in our basement chest freezer. When I’m ready to consume, I take the jars and put them in the fridge. Pay attention! This is important. You don’t want to leave out the jar to thaw because it may shatter. When I make sauce, all that from the jar goes into a sauce pot (sometimes with a can of tomatoes to extend and loosen it) and cook it down for a bit, immersion blend and VOILA delicious sauce.
My kids love it so much that tonight we ate it as soup with a little milk and grated parmesan.