Tis the season for tomatoes! Our local market has an overabundance of ripe, tasty tomatoes that are fresh off the vine! Last year we bought 20 pounds of tomatoes at peak season (e.g. cheapest) and make a very large batch of homemade salsa, which we then gave away to family and friends. This year I am not as ambitious. With a toddler and infant now, I have decided to simply chop and freeze the pounds and pounds of tomatoes we will be getting at the market this weekend. Then, I can use the frozen, diced tomatoes to make sauces and other delicious tomato based meals throughout the winter. Tomatoes are rich in nutrients too, especially vitamin C. Check out the chart below for nutritional information.
Freezing tomatoes is a simple process. First, plunge each tomato in boiling water for about 10 seconds. This makes the skin easy to peel off. Then, peel the tomato skin off the tomato. Finally, dice up the tomatoes and put in a freezer bag (I usually freeze tomatoes in 2 to 4 cup increments). Then, just put them in the freezer! Instead of dicing up the tomatoes by hand, I sometimes puree the tomatoes using my food processor and then put the tomato puree in freezer bags and freeze the tomatoes that way- this is excellent for sauce recipes. So, there you have it- a quick and easy way of storing tomatoes!
Here’s a delicious recipe for a warm tomato dip! It’s easy and excellent for an appetizer when guests are over!
Warm Italian Chevre Dip
- 3 cups tomatoes, diced (fresh, canned or thawed (from frozen state))
- 1/2 to 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 log of goat cheese (size depends on how “cheesy” you’d like the dip to be. I usually go for the larger size goat cheese log- this is typically found in the fancy cheese section of a grocery store or from a vendor at your local farmer’s market)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch pan. Mix the olives, oregano, tomatoes, basil and garlic powder in a medium size bowl. Place the goat cheese in the 8×8 inch pan. Top with the tomato mixture. Heat in oven until cheese is warmed through – about twenty to thirty minutes. Serve warm with crackers or baguette slices.