That glorious garden bounty is awaiting you.
Nothing says summer like the first bite of a garden tomato.
No sooner do you take that taste than all the back-yard tomatoes turn red and beg to be picked. Or so it seems. Not to worry. We have plenty of ideas on how to use up those red beauties.
• Freeze them: Varieties used for sauce, such as romas or plum tomatoes, are easy to freeze. Cut out the cores and bag and freeze. When you're ready to use them, drop them in warm water for a few minutes and the skin will slide right off.
• Pure them: Boil them with a little water, put them through a food mill and place in 1-cup amounts in zip-top bags. Label and freeze.
• Roast them: Core and halve the tomatoes, place in a single layer in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 325 degrees for 90 minutes to two hours, until they're very soft. Bag and freeze, or cover with their cooking oil and refrigerate for a week. You can also pure and freeze.
• Dry them in the oven: Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil. Core the tomatoes and cut into slices. Place in a 250-degree oven for eight hours, until they are shriveled and dry (consider doing this overnight). Peel them off the sheets and store in bags with the air pressed out. Or use a dehydrator to dry the tomatoes.
Find more ideas and recipes for preserving tomatoes and other vegetables on the website for the National Center for Home Food Preservation at www.uga.edu/nchfp.
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