Most gardeners love growing tomatoes. After all, there is a lot of satisfaction in seeing something grow so large and in getting so much fruit throughout the summer. Unfortunately, those same gardeners often lament the fact that the tomatoes they are growing will often go to waste.
Rather than growing fewer tomatoes, it is really a matter of knowing how to keep them from either wasting on the vine or on your windowsill. When you follow one of these three techniques, you would be amazed with how your tomatoes will last throughout the season and beyond.
Cut 2 pounds green tomatoes into wedges. Bring 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, and 2 tablespoons pickling salt to a boil. Peel and halve 3 cloves of garlic. Pack 3 hot, sterilized pint jars with 2 garlic halves, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons pickling spice each. Pack in tomato wedges. Pour hot brine over tomatoes. Remove any air bubbles, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe rims, then seal with hot, sterilized lids. Place onto a rack submerged in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (making sure entire jar is covered), adjusting for altitude if necessary. Remove jars and cool, checking for seal after 24 hours. Pickles will be best after a few weeks.
Core 4 pounds (about 14 medium) tomatoes and score an X in the bottom of each. Blanch in boiling water for 30–60 seconds. Retrieve with tongs and dunk immediately in a bowl of ice water. Remove the skins. Quarter the skinned tomatoes into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Ladle hot tomatoes into hot, sterilized quart jars, crushing the tomatoes gently. Add ¼ teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each jar; remove any air bubbles, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe rims, then seal with hot, sterilized lids. Place onto a rack submerged in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes (making sure entire jar is covered), adjusting for altitude if necessary. Remove jars and cool, checking for seal after 24 hours. Properly canned tomatoes will keep at room temperature for 6 months to a year. Makes 2 quarts.
Heat oven to 225 degrees. Halve 2 pounds (about 7 medium) tomatoes and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 10–15 hours, or until shriveled. Tomatoes can be covered in oil and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for up to 6 months. Makes about 1½ cups.
(Source: Rodale’s Organic Life)