Monday, October 29, 2012

Canned Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

One of the benefits of learning to preserve various incarnations of seasonal food is the ability to enjoy the peak flavours of warm-weather produce in the dead of Winter. While I know the glorious heat and sunlight of Summer is long since past, and the seemingly never ending months of cold, dark and dreary snow and slush are just around the corner, cracking open a jar of June or July's tomatoes or jam brings all the Summer lovin' back into the kitchen.

While I did can a variety of different tomato recipes this year (and yet have only posted two - bad me!), probably the most versatile of all is the simplest - oven roasted cherry tomatoes, packed in their own juices and water-bath processed. Two ingredients (the other one being citric acid for safe canning) and roughly 2 hours is all it takes! The coolest part is that you can do this even with off-season tomatoes, since the roasting brings out the pure candy-like sweetness of the fruit and canning them (rather than freezing or worse, refrigerating) locks in that flavour for months on end.

Pop the top on a jar in the middle of February and make some tomato soup (I loved this one before going dairy free, but my Blackened Tomato Soup is fabulous too) or toss the little gem-like tomatoes with rice, pasta, vegetables or grilled protein. Heck, you can even do what my Mom does most Sunday mornings and make a combination of "egg in a nest" and "eggs in purgatory" that we term "eggs the way somebody else's mother used to make them":

  • Make toast, butter both sides lightly and tear into pieces. 
  • Place in a skillet over medium heat until you can smell the buttery goodness, then crack an egg over the toast and cook until mostly set.
  • Flip the lot and pour in about 1/4 cup diced or canned cherry tomatoes per piece of toast. Add salt, pepper (including chillies) and herbs to taste.
  • Cook until the tomatoes are hot and egg is over-medium.

Doesn't that sound delicious? And with a tomato recipe this simple there's no excuse for sad tomatoes in January no matter what the cooking application! The jars, sealed properly, have a shelf life of 12-18 months in a cool, dark place.

Submitted to Gluten-Free Mondays and Foodie Friday


Canned Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Makes 4 cups (1 qt)
3 lbs fresh cherry tomatoes, stemmed
1/2 tsp citric acid powder (or 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F and line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment (don't use foil or waxed paper).
  2. Spread the tomatoes out in one layer on the sheets. 
  3. Roast 30 minutes, until they’re wrinkled and just beginning to blacken.
  4. Pour half the tomatoes, with their juices, into a sterilized quart jar. 
  5. Sprinkle with the citric acid powder.
  6. Top with the remaining tomatoes and juices, pressing the tomatoes into the jars until spaces between them fill with juice. Leave 1/2" space at the top.
  7. Seal the jar and process in a water-bath canner for 85-90 minutes.
  8. Remove from the canner and place on a rack. Allow to cool completely to room temperature, undisturbed, before storing.
Amount Per Cup
Calories: 71.5
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 30.6 mg
Total Carbs: 15.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.7 g
Protein: 2.9 g