What do I do with ten pounds of tomatoes?

I’ve never experienced this particular kind of bounty before - A grew too many and gave them to B who left town and dumped them on me, and now I’ve got a full grocery bag of tomatoes that have got to have something done to them TODAY. They’re regular beefsteak eating tomatoes, variety unknown, but not sauce tomatoes.

I can can, I can freeze. Plenty of room in the freezer. Never made sauce from actual noncanned tomatoes before 'cause, well, never had this many. My garden just produces enough for me to eat! Can you make a good sauce with not-sauce tomatoes? I’m not going through all the effort of canning for something that isn’t great, I do that enough already. (Pear relish, I’m talking to you!) My first thought was to freeze them whole individually and then bag, but I bet that would be super-gross, right? Help, and help now - I’ll probably have to throw out some of these as it is already!

I’ve frozen tomatoes for cooking later. When you do cook them, you can put frozen tomatoes into boiling water for a short time to make it very easy to peel them.

Freeze them. You can make sauce or salsa out of them later. We do this every year, when things get out of hand. We use the big gallon freezer zipper bags.

It’s best to skin them before freezing, but not absolutely necessary. Not skinning does make handling them later more difficult. (Skinning: drop in boiling water for a few seconds until skin starts to slip, then shock in ice water, then peel skin.)

You can make sauce & salsa out of even very overripe tomatoes, so as long as they’re not actually rotten, you can still save 'em.

Happy harvest! :slight_smile:

ETA: just re-read your post.

Yes, I’m talking about freezing them whole. Just skin & dump in bag & stick in freezer.

Yes, you can make good sauce with regular tomatoes, I do it all the time. Easiest is probably to de-seed them (especially easy with canned/frozen tomatoes).

If you really can’t do anything else with them take them to the local food shelter. Maybe they need some fresh foods. Otherwise send them to me. I love tomato sandwiches.

I don’t understand this. It’s just as easy to handle frozen tomatoes with their skins on as off, and it’s much easier to peel a tomato when frozen then just put in boiling water long enough to unfreeze the skins. At least, that’s been my experience.

I seccond what everybody else has said about freezing.

One suggestion, if you have the room to do this. Put the tomatoes on a cookie sheet or the like and put that in the freezer. When the tomatoes are frozen, you can put them in ziploc bags. The advantage to this is if you only need a couple of tomatoes, you can take them out of the bag, as opposed to having a solid, gallon-sized Block-o-Tomatoes.

Forget the freezing. Make a badass old school marinara. drool

Anybody used any of the various sauce recipes from the Ball Blue Book?

ETA - oh, or salsa? I have tons of onions from my CSA to use up - anybody got a good not-too-spicy recipe that be hot water canned?

If you’re really just going to throw some out, take them to work and put them at the front desk/break area/other public space with a sign “Free tomatoes”. You can also put “courtesy of Zsofia” on the sign, if you want to open yourself up to thanks for your generosity and/or complaints in future years that you didn’t bring in any more.

Uh. . . heading downtown? Drop some off with Lorenzo at 1401 Main. He’ll see that I get 'em.

Seriously? That’s where I pay for my parking!

I’m not throwing them out, except maybe if some are too far gone, just looking for what to do with them. I started out thinking just freeze 'em, and now I’ve turned it around in my head, as per the usual, into a great big day of canning. But canning what? I’ve seen several salsa recipes that look pretty good, but also some pasta sauces… what to do, what to do? I’m also, of course, not sure exactly how much tomato I’ve got here, once I cut out the bad parts and peel 'em and chop 'em and all. Maybe I ought to do that, see how much I got, and then see what recipe matches, eh?

Lucky you,** Zsofia**! Here’s what I’d do (and what I’m planning to do tonight with my tomatoes), courtesy of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It’s easy as can be and freezes beautifully:

Summer Tomato Soup

3 Tbsp butter
1 c. diced shallots (or green onions)
5 pounds ripe, red, juicy tomatoes, rinsed and cut into big pieces
Melt the butter in a wide soup pot over low heat. Add the shallots and let them cook while you cut the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 c. water. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours. Stir the pot every now and then. After 3-4 hours, pass the tomatoes through a food mill into a clean pot. You’ll wind up with about a quart of soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you want to, you can stir in a bit of cream or half-and-half just before serving or you can eat as is.

I was thinking about buying a dehydrator and trying to make sundried tomatoes. I think it’s pretty easy and it greatly shrinks the volume. I hear you can toss them in olive oil or freeze them and they’ll last a long time. Research it before you try the last suggestion.

Really? Maybe I’m just confused. I know we always skin them first, but maybe it’s one of those things that I’ve just believed because someone (Mom?) told me.

IF we get enough tomatoes to bother (which is questionable at this point), I’ll have to try it both ways and see!

burundi - … no basil?

I have always wanted a food mill. This recipe might push me over the top. I assume things like basil, garlic, pepper, fennel, cloves, cinnamon etc. would be optional. Actually, I bet the pureness of the soup without the additives leave a very fresh and clean feeling in your mouth - good for summer.

I haven’t done it, but you can dry them in a low oven too.

This thread is making me hungry. I wish my tomatoes would ripen.

Dehydrating tomatoes at home.

Works like a charm; I dipped mine in vinegar before & after (some website I read recommended it to cut down on mold & other microbial activity.

If you don’t mind the investment, a passata maker is a grand thing. I made about a gallon of sauce out of about half of my tomato harvest back in June, and used the others fresh, or gave them away.

The passata maker I have basically separates the skins and seeds from the rest, and makes a sort of pulp out of it.