Quick Processing Fresh Tomatoes

Back to back afternoon monsoons in the midst of August temperatures have taken my Better Boy tomatoes from ripening nicely to splitsville. Leaving them outside on the plant when they split makes them vulnerable to pests and bacteria. In between showers I ran outside and picked 3 that were in critical condition.

I decided to process them and jar them for future use, but wanted a quick canning option. Now they are safely in my freezer, ready for a nice winter tomato sauce or batch of chili!

You can use a jar or airtight container or zip top bag for this.

Rinse your fresh tomatoes and slice a 1 to 2 inch X on the bottom.

Processing Fresh Tomatoes

Slash an X across the bottom of the tomato

Heat water in a half-full saucepan on the stove or in a heat safe bowl in the microwave. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and carefully place the tomatoes in the water.

Use a large spoon or tongs to submerge the tomatoes, one at a time if your pan or bowl is too small. After 2 or 3 minutes you’ll see the skin start to split, remove tomatoes to a plate or bowl and set aside until cool enough to peel the rest of the skin off.

Processing Fresh Tomatoes

Let cool, then peel the skin off the tomatoes

Remove the stem end/core of the tomato at the top and pack tomatoes into a clean jar or airtight container. I cut mine in half to get them in the jar and added some sliced onion, peppers and fresh basil as well.

Processing Fresh Tomatoes

Place tomatoes and other fresh ingredients into a jar

Finish by carefully pouring hot water into the container until everything is covered. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt and cover loosely until it cools.

You will want to leave an inch or so of room for the mixture to expand when it freezes.

Processing Fresh Tomatoes

Leave 1 to 2 inches for expansion, tighten lid and place in the freezer

When your tomatoes have cooled completely, tighten the lid (or seal all the way), mark it with the date it was processed and place in the freezer.

Save for that miserable day in winter when you are craving the fresh flavors of summer!