What are some tomato-heavy freezer recipes.
August 1, 2012 1:16 PM   Subscribe

This month I will have a boatload of tomatoes at my disposal. In February I will have a new baby. Is there anything I can make and freeze now that (a) uses a lot of tomatoes and (b) will still be good in six months?

-- Of course I will make tomato sauce.
-- I've already made several batches of slow roasted tomatoes.
-- Does this look like it would freeze and reheat well? I usually love Smitten Kitchen recipes.
posted by that's how you get ants to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Ratatouille! (Also uses lots of eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers.)
posted by scody at 1:23 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd cook them down and make spaghetti sauce out of them. Easy to do, easy to freeze, or can, if you're so inclined.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:25 PM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Chili (uses boatloads of other stuff that is probably in season now too -- onions, peppers, etc).
posted by sparklemotion at 1:31 PM on August 1, 2012

If you can do boil canning, make salsa. It's acidic enough to handle boil canning.
posted by kellyblah at 1:33 PM on August 1, 2012

Oven dry those tomatoes and seal them in a freezer bag. It's like sun-dried tomatoes you can make at home! They'll be delicious for a long time.
posted by Mercaptan at 1:37 PM on August 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

You can freeze tomatoes whole as is. Just wash 'em off and throw 'em whole into a freezer bag. (The thawed tomato has to be used in something you're cooking, because the structural integrity breaks down upon thawing.)

If you have any cherry tomatoes in that batch, try freezing them up - you can pretty much use them straight from the freezer in a tomato cobbler later on (lots of recipes exist online, which are usually some variation of "toss some tomatoes/cherry tomatoes/chopped tomatoes in a saute pan with a little onion, garlic, oil, and herbs, heat 'em up just enough, then dump into a pan and top with blobs of biscuit dough and bake until bubbly").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:43 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Make Tomato Jam. It's beautiful on a turkey sandwich or a burger, or on a cracker with a stinky cheese, or just on a spoon straight from the jar.

I didn't know how awesome and wonderful it could be until I had it, it's like ketchup on crack with a little champagne thrown it. There aren't words.
posted by teleri025 at 2:22 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Recent similar question with some good ideas.
posted by illenion at 2:23 PM on August 1, 2012

I'm also going to suggest roasted tomatoes. I know you said you've already done that, but its just about the most versatile thing you can do to them. Plus, a frozen roasted tomato is going to be just as tasty as a fresh roasted tomato. A frozen raw tomato does not taste like a fresh raw tomato. Also I sort of hate the false economy of "I've got to use up all of X, so I'll have to also buy 5 pounds of Y and Z." Suddenly you go from having 5 lbs of food to 15!

Ok. So. Oven roasted tomatoes. We're halving them, tossing with salt and oil on a cookie sheet for 90 minutes in a 300° oven. Blah blah. You know that. But then what?

Freeze them in sandwich bag batches that you lay flat, then stack like books. (no more rolling around mystery frozen things)

Now, months down the road: Boil some pasta. Throw some sausage in a skillet and brown it. Dump a frozen bag of roasted tomatoes in, and a half cup of water. Put on the lid. Walk away. Drain your pasta when its done, and dump the sauce on, and you'll have the most delicious one pot dinner in 15 minutes.

You can go leaner with ground chicken or turkey sausage. Go vegetarian with eggplant or squash cubes. Add curry powder, tofu and have it over rice or quinoa. Add beans and ground beef and have it with corn bread. Leftover shredded chicken, olives and capers with a crusty piece of bread.

Basically it's instant saucy umami goodness.
posted by fontophilic at 2:28 PM on August 1, 2012 [9 favorites]

I know you said tomato sauce, but try making a whole bunch of different tomato sauces -- puttanesca and alla norma are two of my favorites. On the days when all you have the energy to cook is pasta, you'll enjoy the variety!

Try tomato chutney! I haven't actually made this recipe, but it looks delicious.

You can go ahead and make more complicated freezer meals with tomato sauce in them, like lasagna or homemade frozen pizza.

Soup often freezes well! Here's one from Smitten Kitchen, or try an Indian tomato soup like this or this. Or the base for a tortilla soup! (Normal version. Hippie version.)

If you like Indian food and can stand to simmer things in the heat, you can make dal with tomatoes.

Apparently you can freeze quiche -- you could make a tomato-heavy one like this.
posted by ostro at 2:53 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I hear you all on the roasted tomatoes. I'll make more. I also have a ton of garden pesto frozen that I plan to serve with them on pasta. Mmm. Sausage does sound like a great addition, too.

I also like the idea of freezing cherry tomatoes, they sound easier to deal with than whole tomatoes.

I'll see if my MIL is up for canning salsa. This is actually her garden, she just foists tomatoes off on me.

I've never really cooked Indian food before. For "toor dal" and "Chana dal" could I just use lentils and chickpeas? Also do I have to pressure cook the lentils like in the recipe?

Thanks for all the suggestions! I have barely wanted to eat, let alone cook, for three months but now I am inspired.
posted by that's how you get ants at 3:26 PM on August 1, 2012

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