There is nothing like a Garden Tomato. Grocery store tomatoes, even organic, don’t hold a candle to a fresh picked garden tomato eaten on the spot with a salt shaker in hand. I usually grow 4-6 tomato plants a year. In the Pacific Northwest, the harvest can be spotty, but with the unusual amount of sun that we are getting this year, it’s going to be a bumper crop (overly productive harvest). The easiest tomato to grow in the Pacific Northwest is the Early Girl. It has a short growing life and that works well when we are trying to squeeze in as many sunny days before the rainy season hits.
I savor the garden fresh taste of my tomatoes all year round by roasting my tomatoes and making a sauce or even just freezing them after roasted and cooled. You can use them throughout the year as a base for your pizza, pasta sauces and soups.
I roasted a mixed batch of Early Girl and San Marzano tomatoes and then made a yummy marinara sauce out of it. So easy and what an amazing taste; with very little effort.
This is my Tomato Roasting Process:
First, I take the stems off my tomatoes and cut in half, width-wise. Chop up the basil and peel the garlic.
I de-seed the tomatoes by scooping out the seeds with my finger over a sieve to catch all the tomato juice.
Place the tomatoes in a good roasting pan; with the cut side facing up. Toss in the garlic and crack your salt and pepper liberally over the whole thing. Then, sprinkle the basil over the all the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, don’t skimp here! Remember to pour in your reserved tomato juices.
Roast for 2 hours at 350 degrees. If you can stand your oven being on longer, an even slower roast at 250 for 4 hours will further enhance the smoky roasted flavor.
Puree all the roasted goodness with a hand held immersion blender or any type of food processor to get a really smooth blend.
Look at all that Roasted Tasty Goodness! Save in the fridge for a few days or freeze for 4-6 months. Freezing the roasted tomatoes is easy; Place in a good zip-loc type bag meant for freezing. I usually write the amount on the bag, the date and what’s inside, so I don’t forget what it is. When I don’t do that, I find mystery bags in the freezer and have no real clue what it is! Make sure you squeeze all the air out before freezing it. A good chest freezer will keep any frozen foods better, so I always recommend that for anyone looking into food storage.
Roasted Tomato and Garlic Marinara
Makes approximately 2 cups
- 12-14 Medium Garden Tomatoes, any variety
- 4 large cloves of Peeled Garlic
- 1 large handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, rough chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Olive Oil for drizzling, about 2 Tablespoons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tomatoes width-wise. Place a sieve over a bowl. Scoop the tomato seeds into the sieve letting the juices run into the bowl below. Place tomatoes cut side up in a roasting pan. Pour the reserved tomato juice in. Nestle the Garlic cloves in among the tomatoes. Crack Salt and Pepper over everything. Sprinkle the Chopped Basil on top. Drizzle with Olive Oil. Roast for 2 hours.
For a slower roast, Set oven to 250 Degrees and roast for 4 hours.
Throw on top of pasta with our tasty Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Meatballs, freeze for future use as a base for a soup or spread on a tasty homemade pizza. Enjoy!