A bounty of summer tomatoes requires proper preservation to ensure they keep their quality until you can use them. Freezing tomatoes at their peak freshness gives you the flavor of vine-ripened summer vegetables at any time of year. Freezing softens tomatoes so they are no longer suitable for fresh use, but you can use them to flavor sauces, add them soups and stews, or mix them into your favorite recipes just as you would canned tomatoes.
Wash the tomatoes in cold water, removing any soil on their skins. Set aside fully ripened, firm tomatoes with no blemishes for freezing.
Cut out the stem end of each tomato with the tip of a paring knife.
Bring a pot of water to a full boil if you want to remove the skins before freezing. You can freeze tomatoes with the skin on, if preferred. Dunk each tomato into the boiling water for one minute or until the skin splits, then immediately submerge it into cold water until it cools completely. Slip the skin off each cooled tomato.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Arrange the whole fresh tomatoes on the baking sheet so they aren't touching one another. Place the tray in the freezer for four to six hours, or until the tomatoes are completely frozen through.
Transfer the frozen tomatoes to a plastic freezer bag. Store the frozen tomatoes at zero degrees Fahrenheit for up to eight months.
Items you will need
- Paring knife
- Non-reactive pot
- Baking pan
- Wax paper
- Plastic freezer bag
- Thaw the tomatoes in the refrigerator overnight before using them, or add them frozen to the recipe before cooking. If you freeze tomatoes with their skins on, run them under hot water when they are still frozen so the skins will slip off.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images