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  • Preserve tomatoes?

    What is the best recipe for preserving tomatoes? I want to cook them, and store them so i can use them in something like a spag bol.
    Vegmonkey and the Mrs. - vegetable gardening in a small space in Cheltenham at www.vegmonkey.co.uk

  • #2
    Not that we are remotely near a glut of tomatoes yet - but I would chop 'em up with onion, garlic and sweet peppers, roast them, then bosh the whole lot up a bit in the blender then freeze in manageable quantities.
    Last edited by Hazel at the Hill; 26-07-2007, 09:16 PM. Reason: essential step missed out!

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    • #3
      I would go with Hazel on that one Vegmonkey, and you might want to try this - tip from another Grape last year, sorry I can't credit the person as I can't remember who, but it worked brilliantly.
      Just spread some small tomatoes out on a tray
      Put them in the freezer until frozen
      Tip into a freezer bag and seal.
      Add some to tomato based dishes at the last minute just to heat through.
      Just for the glorious sight of fresh, whole tomatoes on the top.
      I'll certainly be doing it again this year - just as soon as I get some ripe tomatoes.

      From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

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      • #4
        Thanks for that...i find it's always best to plan in advance though, so when they come...i will be ready! Might need to buy a new freezer tho!
        Vegmonkey and the Mrs. - vegetable gardening in a small space in Cheltenham at www.vegmonkey.co.uk

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        • #5
          Have you tried Delia Smith's Classic Fresh Tomato Sauce (www.deliahonline.co.uk) Simplicity itself, it freezes and tastes even better for it. The pic on Delia's web site doesn't do it justice but when you want a quick meal - just get some out of the freezer, warm it up and add it to pasta - voila!
          ps. sorry about the name it just seems to follow me wherever I go. I promise I'm not that scarey
          A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! (Thomas Edward Brown)

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          • #6
            Hi Scarey55, tried to0 acess the page you recommended but it would'nt come up so, wondering if you could possibly post the recipe foe the fresh tomato sauce. Thanks in advance.
            Bramble.

            And when your back stops aching,
            And your hands begin to harden.
            You will find yourself a partner,
            In the glory of the garden.

            Rudyard Kipling.sigpic

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            • #7
              HI Scarey - and welcome to the VIne! I take it you are growing toms too? Hopefully with better success than me - although perhaps they will taste all the better for me having to wait SOOOOOOOO long!

              Suspect the link should be www.deliaonline.co.uk ?
              Last edited by Hazel at the Hill; 27-07-2007, 08:14 PM. Reason: add web link

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              • #8
                Hi Hazel and thanks for the welcome,

                'Fraid I won't have any toms this year - Dreaded blight (mould) got to everything. Lost all my grapes, potatoes and tomatoes but last year I had a glut of tomatoes and tried every way I could think of to keep them. Also made tomato soup - and, have you tried tomato jam, actually not as bad as it sounds.

                You are, of course right about the link - spelling never was my best subject.

                Lastly, my Grandma lived in Sutton Coldfield and I was born in Tamworth! Small world as they say.

                Clare (aka Scarey55)
                A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! (Thomas Edward Brown)

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                • #9
                  Hi Bramble,
                  Have you seen the reply from Hazel - silly me can't spell Delia - the link should be www.deliaonline.co.uk then just search for tomato sauce.
                  Cheers,
                  Clare (aka scarey55)
                  A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! (Thomas Edward Brown)

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                  • #10
                    Preserving tomatoes

                    The following is a slightly different way of preserving green cherry/plum tomatoes. It is from a book on pickles we borrowed from the library ages ago:

                    PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES

                    Too many pickle recipes read – and taste – as though they are the last desperate solution to the problem of gluts. Green tomatoes are the classic example. This German recipe calls for green tomatoes ‘small enough to eat whole’, which means growing them deliberately and picking the clusters of small fruit while they are still green, firm and fresh. One of the best varieties to grow is the cherry tomato called Gardener’s Delight. This has the great advantage that the skins of the fruit are unlikely to split.

                    This is an extraordinary pickle. Once you have tasted it you will never again forget that the tomato really is a fruit. It goes well with cheese, even better with pâtés and terrines.

                    Makes about 5lb (2.2kg)

                    5lb (2.25kg) green tomatoes, 1 inch (2.5cm) diameter maximum, stems removed
                    2 pints (1.2 litres) malt vinegar
                    6 cloves
                    1 x 1 inch (2.5cm) cinnamon stick
                    ˝ small nutmeg or 2 blades mace)
                    pinch salt
                    1 lb sugar
                    1 pint (600ml) white wine vinegar

                    Place the tomatoes in a large pan with the malt vinegar. Stir very gently and bring to the boil, then strain immediately. (The malt vinegar can be thrown away or saved for making chutney.) Tip the tomatoes very carefully into a bowl, taking care not to split the skins.

                    Boil the cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg or mace, salt and sugar with the wine vinegar in a separate pan, then pour hot over the tomatoes. Cover and leave for 24 hours.

                    On the third day, heat the tomatoes and the liquid together, but do not boil. Lift out the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and pack them carefully into warmed jars. Throw out any that have accidentally split their skins because they will ruin the effect of the pickle.

                    Reduce the liquid until it turns slightly syrupy, then strain off the spices and pour the cooling pickle over the tomatoes, making sure they are completely covered. Cover and store for 3 months before opening.


                    If any of the tomato skins do split, I remove the rest of the skin, rather than throw them away.

                    valmarg

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                    • #11
                      I do as Hazel suggested but instead of freezing it use a pressure canner to give jars of pasta sauce or add the mince to make bolognese sauce and can that.

                      Also try oven dried tomatoes, and store in clean jars topped up with olive oil.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pigletwillie View Post
                        .....instead of freezing it use a pressure canner to give jars of pasta sauce or add the mince to make bolognese sauce and can that.
                        I've seen that pressure canning thing on your blog, PW - looked a bit complicated (and a lot of kit!) for me as a first timer, but I'll revisit this if I run out of freezer room. Or indeed ever get any ripe tomatoes!

                        Does the canned sauce taste the same as the frozen?

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                        • #13
                          Just as good Hazel and it really is easy. The bonus is just cooking some pasta and pouring on home made bog or sauce with no need to defrost. I also preserve passata that way now and boy does it free up freezer space. The convienience is the main thing though.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pigletwillie View Post
                            .........and pouring on home made bog or sauce with no need to defrost.....
                            Hmm...I can see the advantage in that - I presume you'd keep an open jar in the fridge, and how long does it keep once the jar is opened?

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                            • #15
                              I do passata in small jars Hazel and tend to use them all once opened but I suspect 3-4 days in the fridge would be ok.

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