One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to can tomatoes with Romana. We usually buy 4 or 5 cases of just ripe tomatoes and spend the day “putting up” tomatoes to use in the winter. There really is nothing like opening a jar of home canned tomatoes in January and making some rustic tomato sauce to go over pasta with a little grated Parmesan cheese. It’s just like opening a jar of summer sunshine. They also make great gifts! So here’s an easy way to can tomatoes!
Canned Local Tennessee Tomatoes
(count on using 3 pounds of tomatoes for each quart Mason jar)
15 pounds just ripe local Tennessee tomatoes
15 teaspoons of sea salt
Bring 6 quarts of water to a simmer in an 8 quarts stock pot. Score a little X in the bottom of each tomato with the tip of a sharp paring knife. Remove and bits of stem on the tomatoes.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside to shock chill the tomatoes after blanching.
Working in batches of 4-5 blanche just ripe tomatoes in simmering water for 1 minute or until the skins begin to wrinkle. Remove each one to the ice bath. Peel off the skins and cut out the cores, then cut into quarters. Pack into clean, hot prepared quart Mason jars and press down with a clean wooden spoon until the jars fill up with tomato liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart. Wipe the rim of each Mason jar with a clean paper towel
and place on a new clean lid and then close and tighten the ring. Process in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes (35 minutes for pints, if using). Remove form the water bath using special jar tongs and place on kitchen towels to cool. Lids should seal so there is no movement when pressed. If you have some jars that don’t seal properly you can still use them, but you need to refrigerate them and use them within 2 weeks. Learning how to can tomatoes will deliver some delicious pasta winter meals. Enjoy!
Michael R. Martin
South Fork Catering