And this is very important point – you must have GOOD tomatoes, meaning tasty aromatic preferably heirloom varieties. There is no point of freezing regular store-bought tomatoes – freezing does not improve their taste and would not make them any better than regular canned tomatoes. However, if you have access to good tasty tomatoes, you absolutely must freeze them so you can easily make the best tomato sauce whenever you want. Just add frozen tomatoes to sautéed garlic with generous amount of good olive oil, sauté for 15-20 minutes, add salt, freshly ground pepper and your favorite herbs (I use parsley, oregano and basil).
By the way, it is OK if tomatoes are over ripened , it’s way better than under ripened.
So here is the whole process step-by-step:
1. Boil water in a large pot. There should be enough water to cover tomatoes after you drop them into the pot.
2. Fill large bowl with very cold water. I usually also add some ice to the cold water.
3. You will also need a cutting board, a sharp knife and a colander with a bowl under it. And of cause, you need a quart size freezer zip lock bags to store tomatoes.
4. When water starts boiling, drop several tomatoes into the boiling water. Make sure that tomatoes are fully submerged.
5. After about 1 minute take tomatoes out with slotted spoon and put them into cold water bowl.
6. Let tomatoes cool down for few minute, take them out and put on a large plate.
7. Repeat until you use all your tomatoes.
8. Take one peeled tomato, cut into halves, cut the stalk and remove the skin. It is very easy to remove the skin after hot/cold water treatment.
9. Cut tomatoes into small pieces and put into colander.
10. Repeat with other tomatoes until there is enough cut tomatoes in a colander to fill the freezer bag.
11. Fill the bag and close it trying to get most air out of it. Amount of tomatoes in each bag depends on how much sauce you want to make at once since it is not easy to use just part of the bag once it is frozen solid.
12. Flatten the bag and put it into freezer.
13. Collect tomato juice from the bowl under the colander and pour it into the bottle. As a side product you get very high quality tomato juice that will keep in refrigerator for about a week without losing flavor. I usually add a pinch of salt to it.
14. Repeat until you are done with all your tomatoes.
These are tomatoes from Kathy and Garrison’s garden that I froze for them today:
Tomatoes in boiling water:
Cooling tomatoes in cold water:
Ready to remove the skin and cut:
Skin is removed:
Tomatoes in a colander:
Bagged and ready to freeze:
This is what was removed from tomatoes:
In a freezer (my tomatoes are on a left packed in much larger volume per bag):
Fresh and tasty tomato juice (nice by-product!):