5 Tasty Ways to Eat Your Tomato Harvest All Year

By Blythe Copeland, TreeHugger

Hello tomato harvest time. If your garden (or farmer’s market, or neighbor’s garden) is suddenly overwhelming you with fresh tomatoes, don’t be intimidated, start filling the pantry.

Here are five ways to take advantage of the bright flavor of this fruit during the coldest days of winter.

1. Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce (above)

Tomato sauce is a no-brainer way to use up tomatoes, and this recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients — 5 pounds of overripe Romas, garlic, salt, basil, thyme, and olive oil — and basic technique: Jerry roasted his quartered tomatoes at 175 degrees overnight.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation details the procedure for preserving tomato sauce, but you can also just pop the sauce in the freezer (try putting it in airtight bags on cookie sheets to freeze it in a flat, space-saving shape).

2. Whole or Halved Tomatoes Packed in Water

Not sure you’ll want to use those tomatoes as sauce? The National Center for Home Food Preservation can also tell you how to save them as whole or half fruits packed in water (or tomato juice).

You’ll start by dipping the tomatoes in boiling water until the skins break open — which should take less than a minute — and removing the skins and cores and adding lemon juice and salt to the jarred tomatoes. Then you can either follow the raw pack or hot pack directions, depending on how you plan to use them.

3. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Tricia Callahan of Once a Month Mom offers 30 days of make-ahead meals each month (and the how-to for putting them all together) targeted at parents who don’t have time to cook every night. But she also offers plenty of tips and suggestions for people who aren’t able to spend a full weekend stocking the freezer — including this how-to for Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

She recommends pitting cherry tomatoes before drying them in the oven and storing them submerged in olive oil in the refrigerator so they last “for a long time to come!”

4. Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam

Colleen pointed us toward Food in Jars’ roundup of ways to preserve small tomatoes — think freezing, dehydrating, pickling, and more — but what really caught our eye was a recipe for yellow tomato and basil jam.

The recipe, built around the sweetness of vibrant Sungold tomatoes, makes 3.5 pints from about four pounds of tomatoes, and the chef suggests dipping into it for everything from perking up cheese to glazing roasted chicken.

5. Country Western Ketchup

Maybe it never occurred to you to make your own ketchup — but if you’re preserving tomatoes, now’s the perfect time to try it.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation suggests a recipe for Country Western Ketchup (spiked with cayenne pepper, paprika, allspice, dry mustard, bay leaves, and peppercorns for extra kick) and points novices to the instructions for preserving it using boiling water canning methods. Serve it on organic hamburgers in December for a tasty reminder of your summer barbecues.

Browse all of TreeHugger’s tomato content for mouth-watering tomato recipes, savvy tomato growing tips, and up-to-the minute tomato breakthroughs.



How to Grow Great Tomatoes
12 Tasty Ways to Love Tomatoes
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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

so awesome

Sun Ricart i de Mesones

In my country (Catalunya) we have a very good way of eating raw ripe tomatoes. It is really delicious. We take a loaf of Spanish bread, or a French baguette and we slice it open. We also cut the tomato in two. After that, we rub de tomato thoroughly all over the bread until the bread has a coat of tomato, with seed and pulp (that is why it must be very ripe). The next step is easy: add olive oil and salt at taste. With the "pa amb tomàquet" we can eat cheese, black or green olives, bacon, ham, omelette, anchovies or anything that takes your fancy.
It is a very usual way of entertaining friends-guests and the trickiest part is to have a big variety of things to choose from when we have guests. This is usually accompanyed by a nice bottle of red wine and a close groups of friends. Simple but delicious. I hope you enjoy it.

Armand B.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you. We were counting on a huge harvest of 2 kinds of heirloom tomatoes this year. My wife started over 50 plants; we planted about half and gave the other half of the plants away. First the deer ate the tops off of most of our plants and just as they were coming back a blight started killing all the plants. I pulled them up and burned them...so zero tomatoes this year. The blight seems to have effected most everyone's tomatoes in this area this year.

Sheri P.
Sheri P.3 years ago

if only i had an overabundance of tomatoes to preserve...

Veronique L.
veronique L.3 years ago

Thank you! I love tomatoes...

Phillipa W.
Phillipa W.3 years ago


Beauty India
Beauty India3 years ago

mmmmm..... it looking great...i love it...

Lynde T.
Lynde T.3 years ago

Don't forget homemade salsa! =D LOVE TOMATOES!

Sammstein M.
samantha M.3 years ago


Angela N.
Angela N.3 years ago