Guess you can tell what time of year it is here at the Damsel’s cottage, with all the preserving, etc. posts. The end of summer, the harvest season.
So what about freezing tomatoes? Does that work?
It actually works quite well, the main drawback being limited freezer space. And, of course, the possibility that your freezer might go out/the power get knocked off/the end of the world. In that respect canning in jars is, well, safer. But if you have a nice big deep-freeze, and you feel pretty confident about the world continuing in its normal orbit for at least another few months, then freezing tomatoes is a great option. Although defrosted tomatoes can only be used in cooked dishes, the easy thawing process will save time in the kitchen. Using defrosted tomatoes is so simple that you’ll be able focus you attention on more tricky parts of a recipe, or use the extra time to relax, play cheekybingo, or continue to hone your other ‘old school’ skills.
It’s ridiculously easy. You don’t have to do ANYTHING to the tomatoes except maybe wash them.
Then put them, as is, into a ziplock freezer bag. After they freeze, they’ll be like cold, hard balls. Or cold, hard oval-shaped thingies if they are Romas.
To use them, you can put them in a strainer like so and let them thaw. Or just put them in a bowl. A LOT of liquid comes off these babies. When they are thawed (or even partially thawed) the skins will slip right off. That’s right. Just by freezing them, the skins will slip. No blanching necessary! The Damsel loves this so, so much.
The Damsel also loves that all that liquid drains off, so the resulting tomato goo is Nice and Thick. To get it this thick, you’d have to cook it down for a long, long time. Yay! Even less time slaving over a hot stove!
The other thing that is perfectly wonderful about freezing tomatoes is: if you find yourself falling behind in canning your tomato harvest…or have tomatoes you just can’t use quick enough…you can just throw them in the freezer. Then later, you can take them out and do stuff with them. Maybe it will even be winter by then, and you won’t mind the hot stove so much.
Now, just remember that the thawed tomatoes are going to be mushy, and are fit only to be used in a cooked dish. The Damsel doesn’t want to create any unrealistic expectations here. But these guys are perfect in a marinara sauce, or any other cooked tomato-based dish.
Think about how fun it will be to have both mysterious cold, hard, red balls AND black bananas in your freezer.