Gardening in the Inland Northwest can be risky. Especially if you are growing tomatoes.
We have had years with abundant, wonderful red tomatoes to harvest, and then we’ve had years with abundant green tomatoes that have frozen on the vines. More often than not, we have the latter. Such a waste.
That’s fall in Eastern Washington. We go from the heat of summer to the frosty mornings of early winter with just a quick flash of fall colors in between.
Fall here can be as short as 4 weeks.
This year I wasn’t going to let the tomatoes go to waste. The news said we were due for frost in a couple of nights, so I decided we would save those little gems and pick them before the frost.
The boys and I picked every last tomato, from the smallest grape tomatoes to the biggest beefsteaks.
A friend came to my rescue when I was trying to figure out what to do with all of the ripe ones and deal with the green ones as they ripen. She told me how roasting tomatoes is one way to preserve them. After talking with her, I also searched online for recipes and although they differ, the methods are similar.
I didn’t use a recipe. I just added what sounded good at the time.
Wash and cut cherry and grape tomatoes in half and put them in a 9×11 baking pan. Cut larger tomatoes in quarters or in 1/2” rings.
Sprinkle with olive oil, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and garlic salt and stir well to coat. Ideally you will only have one layer of tomatoes, so if you have more than that, use a second pan.
Roast in a 350* oven for 45 minutes.
Remove when your kitchen smells heavenly and the tomato skins have become wrinkled.
I truly have never tasted anything like these! I added half of the tomatoes to a pasta dish and put the remaining ones in the freezer for another meal. They may be added to any hot dish that sounds good to you, or stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. These can be pureed (remove the skins first) and canned into tomato sauce also.