Market Notes: On Canning Tomatoes

As the days grow noticeably shorter, now is the time to start stocking up, and canning tomatoes is high on my list. This week’s haul from the farmers’ market included just a few from the extraordinary variety available, each as inspiring as the next:

Small plum tomatoes (bottom): Principe Borghese for making into a rich, homemade ketchup; also good for sauces, drying, and roasting.

Yellow tomatoes: three kinds—yellow peach, yellow blush plum, and sungolds—to be made into a sunny tomato sauce or winter soup.

Large plum tomatoes (upper left corner): meaty San Marzanos for piling into jars and canning whole.

Amounts will vary, depending on the characteristic of the tomato. Once cooked and run through a mill to separate out the seeds and peels, 8 pounds of the small plum tomatoes resulted in 1 gallon of tomato puree. 10 pounds of  the larger plum tomatoes gave me 6 quarts of peeled, whole tomatoes, and the three varieties of yellow tomatoes resulted in 3½ quarts of lightly reduced sauce.

To help you stock your own pantry full of summer’s tomatoes:

Resources for Home Preserving Tomatoes, National Center for Home Food Preservation
• Instructions for canning, freezing, drying, and pickling tomatoes, also making tomato preserves.

Let’s Preserve: Tomatoes and Canning and Freezing Tomatoes and Making Salsa
• Guidelines from the Extension Service on quantities, processing times and temperature, and recipes in handy downloadable leaflets.

Freezer Tomato Sauce, Leite’s Culinaria
• If you have the freezer space, a quick alternative to canning.

Canning 101: Tomato Float, Sauce Separation and Loss of Liquid, Food in Jars
• Because it happens.

Also check our new Food Preservation resource page as we continue to add links!

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