Glorious summer tomatoes offer many possibilities to be enjoyed throughout the year. Consider freezing and roasting in addition to canning as ways to bring these treasures to your table in all seasons.
Freezing is a quick and easy option for tomatoes that can be added to soups, stews and sauces. Just wash, dry and chop tomatoes into the size that you will use most, put into freezer bags or other freezer hardy containers. They will be juicy when rethawing, but surprisingly delicious. (You can do the same for peppers, and they are just as wonderful!).
Roasting provides an entirely different taste experience. This recipe for Roasted Tomatoes with Onion, Garlic and Saffron originally appeared in the Star a number of years ago. You may roast these on an outdoor grill or in the oven.
12×17 inch baking tray (with lip)
A variety of tomatoes (6-8 depending on size), including cherry tomatoes, sliced approximately 1/4-1/3 inch thick, cherry tomatoes in half
1-2 large onions, sliced thinly
1 large clove garlic, peeled and if large, cut in half
1/4-1/3 cup of good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper
Generous pinch of saffron (if you don’t like saffron, other herbs or spices are also fine)
Slice enough tomatoes so that they cover the bottom of the baking tray. Add a layer of sliced onions with the garlic cloves. Generously salt and pepper. Pour olive oil over it all and mix with a wide spatula. Ensure everything is completely coated with olive oil and some of the oil is pooling slightly on the bottom of the tray. Amounts of each can be adjusted to your personal preferences and what you have on hand.
Roast in a preheated grill turned to low or oven at 350 F, for about ½ hour (time is approximate). Check 2-3 times to stir and ensure it is not burning at the edges. It will go through a watery phase, but this will boil off. You know the sauce is done when the garlic cloves are easily mashed, and the oil and juices have created a slightly thickened base with the cooked tomatoes and onions.
Take out of grill or oven, stir saffron into sauce. Let cool, then freeze.
This has become my ‘go to’ tomato sauce. For a little extra interest, I add homemade pesto for an incredible taste experience. Enjoy!
Submitted by Daria Love, Food Issues Committee