This year’s tomato harvest has been fabulous. As you may recall, last year wasn’t so good. So this year, I overcompensated. I got tomatoes from Holbrook Farm, Cherry Grove Farm in Newtown, Daffodil Hill Growers, and Sport Hill Farm.
I need lots of tomatoes to put by for Italian Sunday red gravy (gravy, not sauce!) and plum tomatoes (Romas and San Marzanos) are the best for that. A friend told me about another variety called Pompeii, but to get those, you have to grow your own like he does.
For the last few years, I’ve been processing tomatoes by blanching them to remove the skins and (sometimes) running them through a food mill to remove the seeds. Sherri Brooks Vinton and my Pompeii-growing-friend both recommend roasting the tomatoes, so I thought this year I’d give roasting a try.
Here’s how I did it:
- Wash off the tomatoes.
- Slice off the end.
- Slice the tomato in half.
- With two fingers, swipe out the seeds and pulp.
- Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with some olive oil.
- Lay the tomatoes out on a baking sheet. Use parchment paper for an easier clean-up.
- Roast the tomatoes until the skins are crispy and peel off easily.
- Peel the tomatoes and preserve by canning or freezing.
Twenty-five pounds of tomatoes yields between six to 12 cups of processed tomatoes, which needs to be further reduced to make a good thick gravy. You just can’t get enough tomatoes!
About the title of this post
Way back in the dark ages, my high school pals and I used to enjoy tinkering with song lyrics. Here’s the song. You can sing the title of this post instead of the original lyrics. If you want this song repeating in an endless loop in your head for the duration, listen before you seed your first tomato.