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Oct 20, 2007 01:21 PM

Lots of heirloom tomatoes - what to do?

Got an organic box this week with a bunch of heirloom tomatoes. Our two-person household can't possibly eat all of them fresh. What to do? They're yellow, red, and green (don't know the specific varieties).

Some possibilities:
- tomato sauce to freeze
- salsa (to freeze?)
- gazpacho (how will that freeze?)

I also have a bunch of sweet red peppers. Think I can roast them and store them somehow?

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  1. roast them both and freeze them! A little bit of summer during the ugly, ugly winter!

    1. Most of the heirlooms (and hybrids) in markets are for eating fresh and are too watery for cooking - unless they are plum style tomatoes which are meatier and are grown specifically for cooking. The best use for the salad style tomatoes is in things that are juicy anyway like soups and stews. You'll be making those all winter so you can freeze these tomatoes just as they are. Remove the skins (and the seeds if you want) and put them into ziplock bags for freezing. You can keep the colors separate. When you use them during the winter, it will be like adding fresh tomatoes to your recipes. You can even make gazpacho in winter since cucumbers are available year round in markets. The ingredients for salsa are too. Those things will taste fresher if you make them as you need them with fresh ingredients.
      I freeze some tomatoes on sheets before bagging them for freezing, so that I can take out just one or two to add to a recipe during the winter.

      Sweet red peppers freeze very well. Remove the stems and seeds, cut them into quarters and put the pieces into ziplocks. You can take out what you need for cooking all winter, chopping them while still frozen before adding them to recipes. They aren't good for salads because they do get limp and watery from freezing, but they're fine for cooking. Good to have on hand since it's hard to get color into winter foods.
      I don't roast them because I don't always want that flavor in my dishes.

      1. I"d just dice and freeze and then decide how to use them later!

        1 Reply
        1. re: scuzzo

          I second this idea. You can even dice them, add chopped basil, and freeze them together. Then when they thaw, you have a nice tomato/basil base for soup or pasta or to add to your dishes.

        2. There's a great recipe for heirloom tomato soup on the splendid table website - I've made it a couple of times already this summer. It freezes well so you can have some now and save some for the middle of winter - highly recommend this recipe!

          1. I throw them in my vita chop and whizz them into a nice juice.

            Heirlooms don't need much sweetening, so why bother?

            Just toss in a few of your faves, maybe a little spring water, blend away! If you also throw in yogurt or tofu, you get a creamy tomato smoothie.