How to Preserve Tomatoes: From Aspic to Salsa

You can easily learn how to preserve tomatoes in new and flavorful ways. Try making a Spicy Tomato Aspic or a My-Way Marinara.

  • “Put ’Em Up” by Sherri Brooks Vinton will have the most timid beginners filling their pantries and freezers with the preserved goodness of summer in no time.
    Cover Courtesy Storey Publishing
  • Press on the tomatoes to release their juices as you pack them.
    Illustration Courtesy Storey Publishing
  • Get some friends together and can some tomatoes with the “Put ’Em Up” recipe!
    Photo Courtesy Storey Publishing

Preserving is back, and it’s better than ever. The step-by-step instructions in Put ’Em Up (Storey Publishing, 2010) by Sherri Brooks Vinton will have the most timid beginners filling their pantries and freezers with the preserved goodness of summer in no time. Nothing beats fresh-picked ripe heirloom tomatoes, but with some preserving knowledge and a few seasonings you can enjoy these beauties well into the winter months. In this excerpt from the tomato chapter, Vinton shows how to preserve tomatoes by making Spicy Tomato Aspic, My-Way Marinara, Canned Whole Tomatoes, and Heirloom Tomato Salsa.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Put ’Em Up.

Locally grown tomatoes taste different from those found in the supermarket. Unlike the fruits in the mega-mart, which are picked while they’re still unripe and hard enough to withstand shipping, fresh-grown tomatoes ripen on the vine, so they’re full of flavor. Many independent farmers grow heirloom tomato varieties, which can be traced back for generations. Yellow, orange, purple, black, green, and, of course, red heirlooms come in a wide range of shades and varieties. These tomatoes have more complex flavors and are often less acidic than commercially grown tomatoes. Whichever kind of tomatoes you get, their peak season is short, so get them while the getting’s good.

Fresh storage recommendation: Never refrigerate tomatoes — it zaps them of their flavor and texture. Store them on the counter, stem-side down, and enjoy them before they go soft.

The boiling-water method is the standard technique to safely preserve tomatoes and other acidic foods such as salsas, chutneys, relishes, jams, jellies, pickles, and many fruits.

Spicy Tomato Aspic Recipe

Makes about 2 cups

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