It’s that time of year when gardeners are picking more tomatoes than they can eat. I’m always looking for a way to use them as fast as possible, but I ended up with a few pounds last week and no exit strategy. I am not interested in boiling and peeling mine, especially since I only grow Juliette or cherry varieties that are small. So I decided to do my stand-by preserving method: baking and freezing with an Italian twist! The prep will take just a few minutes, but plan for a day you will be around for at least an hour and half for them to sloowwwllyy bake.
These tomatoes are a juicy addition to pastas, especially if you freeze them and add them in the winter when you are craving fresh tomatoes. The spices add a bite to your Italian cooking to perk up your meals.
- Fresh, small tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning mix or pizza seasoning
- Parchment paper
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Wash and scrub tomatoes, especially if you just picked them. Allow to dry. Then cut them into halves or if you have
larger tomatoes (Juliette varieties) you can cut them into thirds. Click here for a quick trick for cutting in halves that will save you prep time–also great for grapes!
In a large bow, drizzle enough olive oil to coat your tomato halves. Mix the tomatoes in the bowl until all tomatoes are lightly covered in olive oil. Lay the tomatoes out on a parchment lined tray with the cut sides facing up.
Lightly sprinkle the tops of the tomatoes with Italian seasoning to taste.
Place tomatoes in the preheated oven and set the timer for 90-120 minutes. Check the tomatoes every 20 minutes and once the skins start to get a little bit wrinkly they are ready. You can keep them juicy like I did if you bake for about 90 minutes OR if you want more of a sun dried tomato you will want to bake for much longer (3-4 hours) until they dry and flatten.
Allow to cool. The tomatoes are ready to be used immediately or prepped for freezing. If freezing, remove them and place on another tray (or remove the parchment and place them on the same tray) and place in your freezer so they can freeze individually.
After they are frozen through, pick off the tray individually and place into a freezer bag or foodsaver bag. You can now pop them into your dishes throughout the year for a fresh from the garden taste.
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