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Too Many Tomatoes...Need Help

My sweet husband bought me a box of tomatoes from a veggie guy who goes by his shop. Unfortunately he did not check the age too closely, the top ones were good and I have plans for them; however I have about 20 who are older... no real bad spots, but you can tell they are aging quickly. Do you have any great ideas so I can salvage them...I hate to toss them. I thought about canning, but was uncertain about them not being very fresh. Thanks for any ideas...

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  1. For the ones that are over ripe I suggest drying them in a slow - 200F oven. Here's what I do...
    Halve the tomatoes, place on a baking sheet, drizzle a bit of olive oil over top, season with dried oregano, basil, thyme, S & P... sometimes I use herbes de Provence...
    Roast for 3 - 4 hours, depending on size. Check after 2 1/2 hrs. You want them dry and shrivelled. Pack into a container and drizzle more EVOO over. Keep in fridge.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Great idea and thanks for the directions... I haven't made oven dried tomatoes before. How long will they keep in the fridge under oil, and can I freeze some?

      1. re: snix

        You're welcome. Mine never last long but I think that approx 1 - 2 weeks or so in the fridge will be OK. They'll be good in the freezer for about 3 - 4 months in a zip-lock freezer bag,,.date the bag. Make sure they're completely cool before storing.

        1. re: Gio

          Thanks for the tips, the tomatoes came out great. I have a little jar in my fridge, already used some in my pasta salad, and the rest are in the freezer.

        2. re: snix

          I love doing this, too. Since you have so many, you can pull some early (about half the time), so they're still a little juicy and puree. It's a great base for soup or tomato sauce. I also add garlic and onions to roasting, if I'm going to be pureeing it. And, as much as I plan to freeze, they taste so good out of the oven that I end up eating a lot of them.

          1. re: chowser

            I had not even thought about soup, I start my cream of tomato soup by roasting canned tomatoes, but I'm sure that the fresh ones would be fine. Should I blanch them first to remove the skin or take the skin off after I roast them?

            1. re: snix

              I don't--I just blend it all in the food processor and have never had any problems with it.

      2. You can make a batch of sauce with them and either can or freeze it for use later on. Saute some onion in EVOO, add some minced garlic, a bunch of chopped tomatoes, a bay leaf or two depending on the size of the pot and your herbs. Let simmer on low for a couple of hours until the tomatoes break down and are saucy the way you like it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: KCrossland

          Tomato gravy was my first thought, but I had just put a good bit in the freezer Sunday before last. I was kinda disappointed that I already had some, making gravy for some reason is very soothing for me...kinda weird, right?

          1. re: snix

            not weird at all! I like to make it too! I do a generic version that lets me make a pasta or a chili :) I add the spices I want later.