Best way to preserve tomatoes, herbs and chillies?

I have an over-abundance of tomatoes, parsley, a few different types of basil, chives and chillies.

What would be the best way to preserve these? Drying? Any recipes?

If your tomatoes are still green, you could do worse than make some green tomato chutney, you could use some of the chillies in that to.

I made a truckload of green tomato chutney this year which I gave away as Christmas presents.

Green tomato chutney recipe

Drying the herbs would be ideal.

Another method of dealing with the herbs is freezing them in cubes with olive oil. Once they’re frozen you pop the cubes out of the tray and into a ziploc bag and you’ve got preportioned oil and herbs for whatever recipe you’re making.

Chilis can be dried or frozen. We usually do some of each.

To freeze, chuck 'em into a freezer bag and put into the freezer.

To dry, hang them up by their stems in a cool, dry, darkish area until withered up. The easiest way to do that is to use a large needle and string and “sew” them through the stems (leave an inch or so between stems so they’ve got some room).

You can dry herbs similarly - tie them in bunches and hang upside down. Or lay them out on trays to dry, but that takes more room. Top of the frig is a good spot, though.

Excess tomatoes should be overnighted to my house. :stuck_out_tongue:

OK, really - you can freeze tomatoes, too. Same procedure as for chili peppers. Oh, you can cut them up and skin them first, if you want, but the skins slip easily after freezing, so I don’t generally bother. Just don’t expect “fresh tomato” texture afterwards - they’ll need to be cooked.

Tomatoes can be dried by slicing thin and laying out on racks to dry. Drying is generally a lot of work and requires a lot of space. And you end up with a much smaller amount at then end then you would expect - most of the volume of a tomato is water. If you want to make the investment in a dehydrator or do them in the oven, I think you can leave them thicker.

Have you considered canning tomatoes? Most tomatoes can be water-bath canned, so it doesn’t require a huge investment in equipment. If you plan to make tomato sauce or salsa with your crop, this is a good option.

You can freeze tomatoes, too. Granted, they will be mushy and watery when thawed, but they are just dandy for stews or soups. If you have big tomatoes, cut them into quarters or other reasonable sized chunks, seed them, then put them on a cookie sheet to freeze. When frozen, put them in a bag and you can take out however many you need.

I have roasted paste or sauce tomatoes in the oven. Cut in half and seed. Put them on an oiled cookie sheet or one lined with non-stick foil. Roast at 250 for 6-8 hours. I kept mine in the freezer because they don’t get bone-dry this way and would mold at room temp. Roasted tomatoes are awesome in pasta or salads. You could roast them with basil and garlic if you wanted.

I made green tomato catchup and chutney.Use the herbs and chlili in that.

Two weeks ago I thawed out some tomatoes I froze in August. I just froze them whole in ziplock freezer bags. When they thawed in the fridge there was so much water in the bag that I expected to smell rotten tomatoes but when I opened them it smelled like fresh garden tomatoes! It was my intention to use them for salsa but I made chili and it was great.

So, should I not even try to use these for fresh salsa? Even if made in a food processor?