Friday, August 20, 2010

Attack of the Tomatoes

Fellow Denison Farm CSA-ers, we have been inundated by tomatoes.

In our household, two things have happened so far:

1. They have been rinsed, pureed and frozen. You heard me.

Do not boil, do not peel, do not seed, do not collect $100.

Rinse. Slice into reasonable sized pieces. Puree. Pour into freezer bags. Freeze. Defrost and use as you will.

2. They are being roasted into sauce.

We took up the Denisons on their offer of 'second' tomatoes and purchased 28-30lbs for $25. This beautiful bounty arrived, and we have been on the move tomato wise ever since.

We preheated the oven to 450 degrees. Enough tomatoes to fill our crockpot, plus 4 or 6 more, were halved and placed on trays along with two of the peppers and two of the onions from this week's share, and one head of garlic. The peppers were halves and seeded, the onions halved and peeled. The outer wrapping of the garlic was removed, and the top sliced off.

All were laid out on the trays. Olive oil was drizzled over, salt and pepper was sprinkled. The trays were placed in the oven. We checked them at 15 minutes, switching the trays and rotating. We pulled them after a second 15 minutes, once they looked like this:

I should note this all began much too late the evening, so I then needed to depart to put a 9 month old to bed. Luckily, I have a Dave who promptly took over. He peeled the skins off the tomatoes, extruded the garlic from its skins, and placed all veg in the crockpot. He poured in a good amount of the roasting oil and juices. He then added a palm full of Italian seasoning, a good tablespoon of salt, set the crockpot on low and covered it. He then went to bed, as well.

In the morning, I took our stick blender and pureed the lot. I adjusted seasoning to taste. It was perfect and was turned into Veggie Lasagna for dinner.

THAT recipe and others will be appearing on All Over Albany's Eat Local Week, Sept 13th through the 19th. Your friendly, neighborhood Nosher has been asked to appear as a featured blogger. It shall be fabulous.

Thank you all for reading, sharing and enjoying. Cooking and feeding and writing to all of you makes this gal smile.


  1. Why have I not read anything about tomato salad?? It's practically my favorite thing about summer!

  2. Your wish, m'lady, is my command. There are still 10+ lbs left. Some will be tomato salad before the season is over.

  3. your lasagna was absolutely FABulous!!
    Now I know how to make that incredible sauce! Thanks my dear!

  4. I'm so glad you could be there!! The sauce is a cinch - it just takes time. The best sauce Dave ever made happened because I forgot to take it off the burner, and it stayed uncovered on low for 13 hrs, reducing down to concentrated deliciousness.

  5. How do you use the frozen tomato puree? Have you ever just cored the tomatoes and frozen them whole? (I just saw a reference to that on another blog.. Mark Bittman I think)

  6. I defrost it and use it as I would canned pureed tomatoes - I have it marked and measured to 28 ounces (equivalent of 1 large can) in 1 gallon bags. It goes into sauce, chili, etc.

    I haven't cored and frozen them whole, but it sounds doable. What I like about the puree is that it defrosts quickly. I lay the bags flat in the deep freeze, so we're talking a thin layer that can be broken up vs. one large chunk.

  7. Over the last few days I have done both things in this post with a box of tomatoes. Thanks! I am very satisfied with the results!

  8. I am so glad! Thanks for reporting back :)