The first freeze is coming to Santa Fe this weekend. All the gardens and farms are out harvesting all the fruits and vegetables that may be damaged in the three days of cold temperatures. In my garden, the harvest is producing a lot of green and red tomatoes. The Farmers Market, CSA and even grocery stores may also have a lot of ripe tomatoes that are from a plentiful harvest. They may even be on a better deal during the next few weeks. Here are some tips to preserve and ripen them.
Amy Hetager, Home Grown New Mexico and Local Organic Meals on a Budget Blogger
1. Cherry or grape tomatoes can be roasted at 400 degrees with salt, pepper, small amount of olive oil and dried oregano for 45 minutes. Let cool and store in a glass container in your freezer. Leave the skins on for extra flavor in a future tomato sauce or soup.
2. Roma or red tomato varieties are good for hot water bath canning or blanching and freezing. Check the recipe section for tips on canning tomatoes.
3. Heirloom tomatoes have a high-water content and are hard to roast or can. Drying these in an oven on 150 degrees or a dehydrator can preserve them as a type of sun dried tomato.
1. John Connell, guest chef from our Wed class, had great advice to pull the entire tomato plant and hang upside down in a window. The tomatoes will ripen on the plant.
2. Wrap the tomatoes in newspaper or place in a closed paper bag on your counter. Most of them should start to be ripe in the next few weeks. They won’t taste exactly as they did on the plant outside, but they are typically better than what you can buy.
3. Cook some green tomato recipes.