It seems we either have too few tomatoes (most of the time) or too many (right now). When we have too many, it is worth taking an hour or so to puree those tomatoes and preserve them in some manner. If you are adept at canning, the tomato puree can be canned, or do what I do and just freeze them. These pureed tomatoes can be used in any recipe that calls for canned puree, such as sauces and soups, but the recipe may have to cook longer if your tomatoes are particularly watery.
I generally puree roma tomatoes and save the larger slicing tomatoes for salads and sandwiches. The process couldn’t be easier, but you do need a food mill to puree the tomatoes. The food mill removes the seeds and skin for you, making tomato-preserving a snap.
- Chop the tomatoes roughly and put them in a large, non-reactive saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Simmer until the tomatoes start to break down and thicken, 10-20 minutes.
- Remove the tomatoes from the heat and let cool a little.
- Run the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the seeds and skins. Food mill discs generally come in three sizes. I use the middle size for this.
- Chill the puree in the refrigerator, then transfer to freezer containers. The puree can be frozen up to 1 year.