These tomato recipes will help you savor the harvest long into the dark days of winter. Now is the time to can, preserve, and store the bounty from the garden; tomatoes are at the peak of flavor.
Three Recipes to Savor the Taste of Summer All Year Long
There is nothing better than a freshly picked tomato. I love tomatoes, all types of tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are my latest obsession – the Black Krim tomatoes are splendid, alongside the Hungarian Paste tomatoes (for sauce) and the Tasmanian Chocolate tomatoes which, alas, don’t taste like chocolate,
I grew eight varieties of tomatoes this year. Here are six: Black Krim, Big Beef, Early Girl, Hungarian Paste, Tasmanian Chocolate, Sweet Million.
Missing: Marglobe and Riesentraube, two medium beefsteak tomatoes.
Any of these heirloom tomatoes can be used in tomato recipes. Certain varieties, however, work best for certain recipes.
Making Tomato Juice without a Juicer
Making tomato juice without a juicer is a summer chore that results in plenty of fresh, delicious, home-canned tomato juice. If your family enjoys tomato juice the way mine does, it is well worth the time and the effort.
Any of the tomato varieties will work for this recipe. Heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes produce the richest juice, with the beefsteak types adding the most body and thickness to the juice.
Tomato Sauce from Scratch
I’ve always wanted to make tomato sauce from scratch. My family goes through at least half a jar to a full jar of sauce per week. We use tomato sauce in many recipes: spaghetti, of course, but also eggplant parmesan, sausage and peppers, chili, beef stew, lamb stew, and more.
Tomato sauce made from scratch turns out best when paste tomatoes are used for the recipe. Paste tomatoes have thicker flesh and less juice. Amish paste and Roma tomatoes are the two most popular paste tomatoes.
I grew Hungarian paste tomatoes not because I thought they would be any better but because I was curious about them. The first plant did not produce many but another plant appears to have dozens on it which should be ready for harvest this weekend, a great opportunity to make tomato sauce from scratch over the long weekend.
Freezing tomatoes isn’t a tomato recipe per se but a technique to freeze fresh, whole tomatoes for use later. Tomatoes must be blanched and the skins removed prior to freezing.
These three tomato recipes will help you enjoy your fresh garden tomatoes all winter long. Happy harvest!
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.