I absolutely love tomatoes. My favorite way to eat a tomato is to pick it from the vine, wash it and eat it like an apple. Nothing says summer like a fresh tomato. During the winter months (when there are no fresh tomatoes) we eat a lot of tomato based sauces. Spaghetti, lasagna, manicotti, chili – do I need to go on?
Typically the only sauce I don’t like to make from scratch is my spaghetti sauce (no one does it like Paul Newman!) so tomatoes are a staple for my freezer. Luckily for me that I usually have friends, neighbors or coworkers who have way to many tomatoes than they know what to do with so the cost of my tomatoes is usually plants from my flower bed or some other bartering payment.
The first year I froze my tomatoes I spent hours blanching and pureeing only to discover that my tomato sauce was pretty runny. The next year I threw them in the freezer, after washing and drying, skin and all! Just to clarify, I actually put them into a Ziploc bag and THEN threw them in the freezer. Didn’t want you guys to think I was scrapping tomatoes from the inside of my freezer! When it came time to need my tomatoes I would take them from the freezer, let them sit on the counter for a few minutes and then peel the skin right off. At this point the tomatoes are so soft that just mashing them usually does the trick. If I need them more pureed I can stick them in the food processor at that point.
This is my cheap, easy way to have fresh tomato sauce all winter long. How do you freeze your tomatoes?