Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freezing Stewed Tomatoes

I love to have food from my garden tucked away for the winter each year.  Tomatoes have always been a huge part of my love for gardening - there just is nothing like the flavour of a vine-ripe, homegrown, sun-kissed tomato.  And so why not be able to enjoy that flavour year round!  In addition to the regular canned tomatoes and the passata that I can I also like to have a lot of stewed tomatoes in the freezer, that way  I can add as much zucchini, peppers, onions, garlic and herbs as I like without having to worry about potential canning problems.

Stewed tomatoes are very simple to prepare.  I just blanch the tomatoes and slip the skin off then chop them into large chunks. 
While I am doing that I have the chopped peppers, onions and zucchini sauteing in olive oil- I've already run them through the food processor.
I add in some garlic.
Did I mention I was lucky enough to get to buy some gorgeous local garlic...and not just regular garlic - homelearner garlic! ;-)  My family went for a long time this  year without any garlic because we ran out of last year's garlic too early and I do not wish to buy the garlic from China that they are selling in our grocery stores.  Happily we had a supply of roasted garlic powder made by a generous friend out of last year's garlic and so we were still able to satisfy our taste for local garlic with that  (And yes, roasted garlic powder is as delicious as it sounds - we call it "gold" around here and spoon it out very carefully).
Once those veg are all satueed then I add the chopped tomatoes and cook it for a bit then add some herbs - basil, oregano or parsley usually.  Add a bit of salt and then let it cool.
Then I ladel it into containers (yes, still using plastic containers because I've yet to find something that works better for the quantities that I put by - these I can stack at least 4 high in the freezer).
And that's it.  The other thing I love about these over my canned tomatoes is that they already have all the things in that I would normally add to soups, sauces and casseroles (the zuke, onions, peppers, garlic and herbs) so it makes meal preparation throughout the year that much easier.


Katherine said...

My mouth is watering and my tummy is grumbling... that looks so delish!

Anonymous said...

This looks so fantastic. What a great idea. Perhaps I can still get some big quantity of tomatoes from the market. Ours are just about done.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

China! We are importing garlic from China now? Boy am I ever glad I grow my own.

AMOffenwanger said...

I think I'll have some homemade tomato soup for my lunch now.

Little House On The Mesa said...

You have just saved my day! I have about 100lbs of tomatoes starting to rot as I wait for a canning kit to come in the mail. I think now I will just go ahead and freeze a bunch of them while I wait along with the peppers and garlic I have stashed as well.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

There is no such thing as 'too many' stewed tomatoes! They are my favorite!

Gosh, that box of garlic is pay dirt!!!