Putting tomatoes without canning

Tomato festivals are popping up and I'd love to preserve a bunch, but don't want to can them. What are other great ways to preserve them in the freezer or fridge? I know I saw an article recently but can't find it, of course. I just cleaned out my freezer so plenty of space there!

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Susan W
Susan W August 26, 2014

I am in the same boat that you are. I am interested in canning, but I haven't purchased the supplies needed, so that will have to wait until next year. I am going to freeze tomatoes this year. You can peel or not peel, chop or freeze whole.

Jeffrey Zakarian peels his tomatoes with a knife. I may try that and avoid the boiling water method. I think I will buzz them in my food processor just to break them down a little. My freezer is apartment sized, so the tomatoes will then go into Ziploc bags. I already have 6 bags of ratatouille, lots of basil, thyme and rosemary in bags and it looks like I can fit 8 bags of tomatoes. I think I need to buy a little freezer. :0)

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SKK
SKK August 26, 2014

I hate to peel tomatoes. I have been roasting them and running them through a food mill to get rid of most of the skin. Then I go about cooking them down for sauce, canning or freezing.

Susan W
Susan W August 26, 2014

Skk, I hate peeling them too. Hate. I liked Zakarian's method, but he was just making his Caprese salad, so he only had to peel a few. I have grounded myself from buying anything for my kitchen, but I may have to buy a food mill.

SKK
SKK August 26, 2014

You can dehydrate tomatoes. I have an Excalibur dehydrator, and I simply slice the tomatoes, dry them and store them in glass containers in my cupboard. They are wonderful ground up to put in soups to deepen the flavor. They are wonderful rehydrated for soups and salads. You can also cook them down and make tomato paste. https://food52.com/recipes... You can make pasta sauce and freeze it.

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sfmiller
sfmiller August 26, 2014

You can freeze them whole, unpeeled. Just wash, core, put on a sheet pan, freeze solid, then put into freezer bags of the desired size. The skins slip off easily when they're thawed. They do take up more freezer space that way, though.

Personally, I prefer to chunk them up, skins and seeds and all, cook until soft, then pass them through a food mill to get rid of the fibrous stuff. It makes the most efficient use of my limited freezer space. I generally use the frozen tomatoes for sauce or soup, anyway, so they're pureed and ready to go once thawed.

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bigpan
bigpan August 26, 2014

My first wife's mother (serious Italian) simply cleaned the tomatoes and put into mason jars and filled with olive oil. The trick is to make sure the tomatoes are covered so the don't develop any bacteria. Bonus is you not only get fresh tomatoes year 'round, but also nice flavored olive oil.

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Trena Heinrich
Trena Heinrich August 26, 2014

bigpan - can you then put them in the pantry or did she refrigerate them?

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