If you’re lucky, you’ve got tomatoes coming out of your ears right about now and you’ve even considered the possibility that you might have too many? Bite your tongues! You can never have enough of those beautiful, juicy red vegetables and chances are if you’re like me - you’ve found plenty of ways to use your crop efficiently and effectively. There’s the marinara sauce, tomato pies, tomatoes on the grill, garden salads, ratatouille, fried green tomatoes, stuffed tomatoes and if you’re a clever chef- you can even make your own Bloody Mary’s.
If the stove has already been burning making these delicious tomato based concoctions and your pile is still overflowing with your harvest, you might be getting nervous about the possibility of waste. Pitching vegetables because they aren’t used in a timely fashion is a shame and is often looked upon as a tragedy by hard working gardeners who have nourished the plants since they were mere seeds.
Well, worry no further! Canning tomatoes are a popular procedure when farms produce a vast amount of one crop and need a back up plan for preservation. Many are deterred from this method because they believe it’s more work than its worth but honestly, its pretty simple. Follow these steps for jarring your tasty tomatoes and enjoy them all year round.
Step 1 Select Your Preferred Tomato Variety.
Keep in mind that less water such as Roma will keep better than juicier tomatoes with a thinner shell.
Step 2 Sanitize Your Jars for Canning
You need to make sure that your containers are squeaky clean so place them in your dish washer then place them and their lids in a pot of boiling water for approximately 10 minutes.
Step 3 Prepare Your Tomatoes
Place the chosen tomatoes in a pot of boiling water and then immediately drain by putting them in ice-cold water. You’ll be amazed how fast their skins peel right off. You also want to discard any bruised or damaged vegetables as well because they wont preserve decently once canned.
Step 4 Fill Er’ Up!
Fill the jars with tomatoes leaving at least 1 ½ to 2 inches of space, which will then be filled with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the rest with boiling water. Make sure all of the air bubbles have left the vessel and seal the lid securely. If you’re feeling daring, add a sprig of rosemary or basil for seasoning.
Step 5 One More Round of Boiling
You’ll need to boil the sealed containers in a pot of boiling water for about 40 minutes to make sure the contents will “can” properly. Let them cool completely and then store in a cool place.
Step 6 Bon Appétit Enjoy!