Tomato season is here! During these next few, short weeks I will be attempting to preserve enough tomatoes to last throughout the year. I have been canning for the past few years and really love having those little glass mason jars sitting in my pantry. It makes it so easy to whip up pastas, pizzas, stews, soups, chilis, etc. using produce that has been purchased locally and preserved at it’s optimal freshness.
While traditional methods of canning involve multiple steps of blanching and peeling your tomatoes before canning, my method is quick and simple. While there are a few steps involved, they are simple and do not require much active effort (especially in comparison with the traditional way). I find roasting the tomatoes emphasizes and concentrates their sweet flavour, making them taste even more delicious.
In an effort to keep things economical (and allow you to purchase a larger quantity of higher quality, organic tomatoes), ask your grocer or farmer for “seconds”. Often seconds are sold at a greatly reduced price, due to a few blemishes or bruises which can easily be removed. Definitely worth the extra effort to provide your family and yourself with the best possible quality 🙂
The Quickest and Easiest Way to Can Tomatoes:
– tomatoes (make an effort to buy organic if possible)
Use as many or as few tomatoes as you like. I find that it takes about 7 large tomatoes to fill 1 quart jar so use this number as a reference and multiply as needed. If your tomatoes are larger than your fist, slice them in half. The ones that are smaller than your fist can be left whole. Arrange your tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pre-heat your broiler. For each baking sheet add:
– 2 T extra virgin olive oil OR avocado oil
– 1 T dried italian seasoning (or a combination of your favourite dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano….)
Pop your tomatoes under the broiler and watch them closely. Broil them until brown spots begin to appear on the tomatoes. Remove from the oven, flip, and place back under the broiler. After tomatoes have brown spots on all sides, remove from oven (tomatoes may be beginning to split). Arrange your sterilized mason jars. Jars can be sterilized by running through the dishwasher or placing in boiling water for a few moments (I do this in my canner as it is pre-heating).
To your jars add:
– 2 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
This is the only time you should ever use the bottled stuff. I always feel like a criminal buying it, however it is necessary for canning as the acidity is constant (the acidity varies in real lemons) and prevents spoilage.
Pack your roasted tomatoes into your jars. They should be oozing juice. Push the tomatoes down so that the juice covers them. If you’re feeling fancy you can add a couple of fresh basil leaves to each jar. Leave 1 inch of headspace. Screw the lids on. Boil the jars for 40 minutes in either a water bath canner, or a large pot. Carefully remove the jars after 40 minutes and set aside to seal. You may hear the jars “pop” shut as they cool, which indicates a seal. Once tomatoes are cool, push the centre of the lid. It should be solid. If the lid still pops back and forth the jar did not seal (this has never happened to me, it’s pretty uncommon). You can either eat this sauce immediately or re-try with a new lid.
Canned tomatoes will sit happily in your cupboard for the year.
*If you have any roasted tomatoes left over that will not fit into your jars, cover them with olive oil and place in the fridge. Pull them out over the next couple weeks and eat with anything or use in italian recipes
Enjoy ❤ ❤