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Preserving slicing tomatoes

 
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Location: Maritime Northwest USA, zone 8b
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I don't bother growing paste tomatoes since I'm not in a great tomato climate (Seattle). But sometimes we plan badly and there's a huge glut of cherry tomatoes or heirloom slicing tomatoes in the fall. Last year I bought a bunch of heirloom seconds from a farm and managed to make some preserves that were totally edible, but kind of watery. What else can we do with the extras when they're not the right variety for canning or making sauce?
 
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Tegan Russo wrote:I don't bother growing paste tomatoes since I'm not in a great tomato climate (Seattle). But sometimes we plan badly and there's a huge glut of cherry tomatoes or heirloom slicing tomatoes in the fall. Last year I bought a bunch of heirloom seconds from a farm and managed to make some preserves that were totally edible, but kind of watery. What else can we do with the extras when they're not the right variety for canning or making sauce?


I'm in Seattle too - I know how it goes!

Most cherry tomatoes are not watery, actually. Cherries typically dry gorgeously and cook down to a thick, rich sauce. To dry, just slice in half and pop em in the dehydrator at around 135F-140F, cut side up, until leathery.

True, juicy slicers are a bit more difficult. I wouldn't bother drying these. You can make a nice sauce, but as you found out, you have to basically cook the heck out of the sauce to reduce it down enough. There's a few options for getting that excess water out of the tomatoes that don't include simmering for 17 hours. This threadcovers your choices pretty well. One other option is to slow roast your maters. It will take awhile, but long-and-low roasting will eventually convert your tomatoes into caramelized yumminess. Then, if you want, you can puree for sauce.

But in general, I do recommend enjoying your big meaty slicers fresh in panzanella, sandwiches, bruschetta topping, tomato salads etc. as much as possible. They will just never be as good for cooking as the roma types.
 
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Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I just tried Erica's 'Oven Roasted Herbed Tomato Confit' recipe (get her book!), and love the results... really flavorful. I stick-blended it and have it frozen to add life to soup, casseroles, etc. And I also mention this method because I believe I just read that lot of the nutrient value in tomatoes is in the watery cell fluid, the seeds and skin. I've got all that included in my frozen zowy tomato sauce! Also ... don't know how it could be easier ;)

(Re: easy, I always meant to try a method from Organic Gardening decades ago... cook tomatoes til falling apart, then leave it sit overnight. Next day the flesh will be floating and the clear liquid will be underneath... easily separated. But might lose some serious nutrition that way... ?)
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