If you’re like me, you hate grocery store tomatoes. Anemic. Pale pink. Pathetic. They just don’t taste as good. I don’t even like to used canned tomatoes, if I can avoid them because of the metallic taste that you can’t get rid of. Boxed tomatoes are tasty, but expensive. I’m still slightly intimidated by canning, but I like to preserve my food. So, if you’re cheap, have an extra hour, and have access to a farmer’s market or a tomato plant of your own, freezing tomatoes can be a great option to enjoy that tomato flavor through the winter.
This was my project today, and the little guy even helped (or at least watched with fascination.)
Ripe tomatoes (larger varieties work best; don’t try to do this with cherries or you will drive yourself crazy!)
Several Large Bowls
Quart freezer bags
Kitchen scale (optional)
- First, collect ripe tomatoes (though not over ripe or they may be difficult to work with) and wash them gently. Don’t worry if their skins aren’t perfect since soon you’re going to get these tomatoes naked. Scandalous!
- Prepare your work area, since you’ll need a lot of bowls for this project. Place a large pot of water to boil and prepare a bowl of ice water near by. Lay out another clean bowl next to that and finally, place your strainer over a final bowl.
- Make a tiny “x” on the bottom of each tomato, just deep enough to pierce the skin but not so deep as to cut into the seeds. Working in batches, blanch the tomatoes for two minutes. Place the blanched tomatoes in a bin of ice water. Once iced, the skins should slide easily from the tomatoes.
- With your paring knife (or a strawberry huller), remove the stem area from the tomato and seed. Don’t be afraid to squish and squeeze the tomatoes a bit to get the seeds out. Place the seeded and stemmed tomatoes in the mesh strainer to drain into a bowl.
- If desired, measure out preset quantities of your tomatoes for easy kitchen work. I always do 1 lb bags for simplicity’s sake. Press out all of the air and freeze flat for easy stacking. The tomatoes should last at least three months, and for most freezers, could last much more than that without any loss of flavor.
- Remember that bowl you were straining into? Fresh tomato juice! Feel free to pass it though the strainer one more time for good measure.