When I had a sleepless night a few months ago I mentioned that I'd
planted 36 tomato plants, with a small frozen chick underneath.
Life continues. The sun rises and sets. And as we approach August,
the tomatoes begin to ripen.
In my house, it would be clear what the season is by looking at what
is in the colanders on the kitchen counters. Especially this time
of year, the counters are full of tomatoes and fruit from the orchard.
Our warm spring means that we have lots of peaches, nectarines and
of course all six varieties of tomatoes.
I used to can tomatoes, cooking them in a saucepan then putting them
in canning jars and boiling them to banish microbes. Those tomatoes
would keep for months on the shelf but the methods I used made them
taste acidy and harsh. Often dinners made with those jars of fruit
would give me acid indigestion.
So in the past couple of years I have stopped canning them and begun
to freeze recycled yogurt containers full of baked tomatoes. The flavor
is extraordinary, almost as good as fresh. The recipe is simple
Get out a large baking dish, I use glass pans that are either
9x14 inches or 12x20 inches.
Quarter or eighth slice tomatoes. The wedges should be no more
than 1/2 inch thick, use enough to layer the pan one layer thick.
Cherry tomatoes work well if cut in half.
Pour enough olive oil into the pan so the tomatoes are sitting
in a shallow pool of oil. Usually this is about one-third cup
of oil for the 9x14 pan, a half cup for the larger pan.
If the tomatoes are too deep, this recipe will not be as tasty,
the tomatoes gently fry in the oil as they bake.
Place the pan in an oven at 325 degrees, or in a covered grill
with indirect heat. Bake without stirring until the tomatoes
start to shrivel and they are just slightly browned. Let cool.
This freezes well.