Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

With all of the leaffooted bugs we've been battling in the garden, our tomatoes are not as high quality as I would like.  It came time to preserve tomatoes and I was worried canning them just wouldn't go well.  Tomatoes that have been snacked on by leaffooted bugs or stink bugs have two main problems.  First, they don't peel easily.  The skin kind of "sticks" everywhere the tomato was punctured.  Second, they just don't taste quite as good as a homegrown tomato should. 

So I have all these tomatoes that are perfectly edible, but need a little help.  A friend of mine was talking about roasting tomatoes and it occurred to me that was probably the best way to preserve our tomatoes. 

I started out by washing the tomatoes, cutting them in half and seeding them.  I put them cut side up on a large baking sheet that was lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray.
I drizzled the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkled them with finely chopped garlic.  They went into the oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Then I turned the oven up to 400 degrees for another 15 minutes. 
At the end, the full sheet cooks down to this amount.  They can be chopped up for tomato sauce, or bagged and frozen.  Roasting intensifies the flavors a bit, which these tomatoes need. 

I'm pretty sure I'm just going to do this with all of the tomatoes we get.  In another 6 weeks or so, we'll be able to put in a new crop of plants.  Maybe the bugs will calm down by then and we'll get better tomatoes more suited for canning in the fall.

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