Every year my love of vegetables gets the better of me and I have wound up with a huge box of Roma’s from the organic farm that provides my fabulous CSA. I have been trying to simplify my tomato canning over the years and think I have really hit it right this year. For one, to make it easier and faster, I only can what I think I may give away and what I will keep I freeze. I did a few different things with the tomatoes this year; I cooked the tomatoes way down and processed in jars. The juice that was removed I froze as just plain juice. When I take it out of the freezer I can blend it with celery, hot sauce, garlic and onions to make a delicious drink or Bloody Mary mix. I also froze a barely-cooked-down simple tomato sauce. This will give me a lot of options when cooking in the winter.
One thing was super exciting was using my new gigantic steel pot I found at an antique store. At the time, I couldn’t pass it up but also wondered when I’d ever use it. It’s enormous! Well, I had so many tomatoes that I ended up filling it up, twice. I also used it for processing the canned tomatoes. The blue canning pots that come with canning kits seem to be challenged with having water deep enough to cover the jars and truly coming back to a boil during processing. Anyways, I love my new pot! Check it out!
- 15 pounds of Roma tomatoes
- 3 onions
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Fresh basil
- Place all the tomatoes in kitchen sink and cover with water to rinse.
- Cut out any black spots on the tomatoes and discard.
- Put all tomatoes with their skins snd seeds in a large cooking pot, cover and let cook for an hour or until the tomatoes can be easily crushed with a potato masher.
- While tomatoes are cooking down, chop onions and garlic and sauté until soft and sweet, not brown, set aside.
- To make the sauce
- Step 1: Place the colander over a large bowl - 2 cups at a time place tomatoes in colander and let some of the juices drain off - this is the tomato juice.
- Step 2: Place a food mill with the #5 blade over a large bowl. Taking the tomatoes from the colander, scoop the tomatoes into the food mill and run them through.
- Step 3: Place all the solids in a separate bowl and continue until all tomatoes have been through the food mill - this makes the tomato sauce.
- Step 4: Combine onions, garlic, the tomato sauce and basil and cook for another hour or until it is a consistency that you like.
- Step 5: Process for 15 minutes.
- To process the tomatoes:
- Step 1: In a large stockpot, with a wire rack at the bottom, bring water almost to a boil.
- Step 2: Place empty jars and lids in pot of water to sterilize. After 10 minutes, with canning tongs, remove from pot and set on a towel.
- Step 3: Add one teaspoon of citric acid to each jar.
- Step 4: Using a large funnel, scoop tomato sauce into each jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Screw on lids and bands.
- Step 5: Carefully place jars into the pot of water so the water covers the jars. Let process for 15 minutes.
- Step 6: Using canning tongs, remove jars and set on a towel. Leave the jars alone for 24 hours and wait at least a month before using.
Tip Jar: Check out last years Herby Tomatoes recipe!