How to Preserve Tomatoes in the Freezer
|Features - The Craft of Cooking|
What a wonderful treat it is to have garden-fresh tomatoes in the dead of winter. The taste of your own, local tomatoes, even after the freezing process, will make you forget about the varieties at the supermarket that have traveled and have, no doubt, been treated. Buy out your local farmer at the end of the season, and think ahead to the sweet, fresh tomato taste enhancing your dishes, anytime of year.
Here is a simple technique for freezing fresh tomatoes for use "out of season."
1) Put your tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for about 45 seconds.
2) Shock the tomatoes by putting them directly into a bowl of ice water. This step makes the skin slide right off of the tomatoes. The skin does not keep well, so this is an important step. You will also want to remove any bruised areas.
3) Cut the tomatoes in half and, with your hands, squeeze out the seeds.
4) Drain the tomatoes in a colander. (Repeat the above process at this point if you are preserving many tomatoes.
5) Place the drained tomatoes in a freezer bag. Don't overfill the bags as you want to leave room for some expansion. Vacuum-sealing the bag is ideal, but using a straw to draw the air out of your bag works well also.
6) Put the bags in the coldest part of your freezer (toward the back).
7) Enjoy "in-season" tomatoes any time of year!
Photo credit: Fiona Coxe