Friday, March 13, 2009

The Great Tomato Debate: Solved and Resolved!

So, if you've been around here for a little while, you might remember the unbelievable and somewhat exciting mess that I made of many pounds of tomatoes last year. The question at hand was this: How does one successfully freeze a tomato? I'd had some failed attempts in the past that were horrible curdled tomato nastiness when I defrosted them, and I wanted to be one of those impressive people who has a great way of freezing tomatoes. So I choose the two most popular methods, and I decided to make an experiment of it in the interest of making myself a better and more impressive person. Just to recap, these are the two methods that I worked with.

1. I made really good tomato sauce- I deseeded and deskinned the tomatoes and everything. I did this late at night, cooked the sauce all night, and it was amazing. My recipe is here.
2. I quartered and slow roasted the tomatoes. I sprinkled with salt and pepper, put on a tray, and baked for a long time. I played with the time, but I always roasted the tomatoes at 400 degrees, for at least an hour, but up to 2 1/2 hours. Then I let them cool and put them into ziplocs.

Now as you can imagine, these two methods involve very different levels of work. So I did them both, put them away in the freezer, and waited patiently for the time when I absolutely needed to check the results.

And why would I need to freeze tomatoes? Because in February, the store plays a trick on us. Thinking that you will be too busy with your life to notice, they call this a tomato:

Yuck. Hard. Tasteless. Expensive. Worthless.
I know I'm being hard on them here, but have you bought one of these lately? I think, if anything, I'm being easy on these "tomatoes".

So yes, if we are to eat tomatoes in the winter, we must freeze the tomatoes. Or can, if you like, but that's a whole other blog post, and certainly not one you're getting out of me.

Are you dying with suspense? Ready for the answer? Get ready....

They both work really well! Do both!
The sauce stayed phenomenal, and the roasted tomatoes were so useful, I used them as I wold canned tomatoes.
So my suggestion is this- one day in late August/ early September when you're feeling like outdoing yourself and you have access to 20 or 30 pounds of tomatoes, make sauce. Then freeze it. But then, all through tomato season, roast tomatoes whenever you have a trays worth. Then you'll be totally set.
Of course, as resolved as I am at this moment, and as impressed as I feel with myself, you're always welcome to throw off my pride with a new method to try. Feel free to share.


  1. Hi Alana!
    I just wanted to let you know that I am reading your blog and it makes me happy to hear what you're up to. Furthermore, if the zombie apocolypse ever comes, I'm coming to hide out at your house.

  2. Hi Lizzo! Glad to know that you are out there.... I'll start cooking for you in the virtual universe. And you're always welcome, whether or not the zombies are coming.