Romas, Early Girls, Heirlooms, they’re all at their peak. When I see them glistening in their red and orange and gold skins, I can’t resist them! I spent a whole day elbow deep in roasting, saucing, canning about 40 pounds of tomatoes, a lug of Romas, and about 8 pounds each of Early Girls and Heirlooms. I like to roast the Romas first with onion, garlic and basil. I spread the onion, garlic and basil on a cookie sheet, cover with Romas, and sprinkle with salt and olive oil.
Then into the oven at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, till the tomatoes just start tot char. I roasted some Heirlooms, too, but sliced them into regular slices instead of halves, like the Romas. Once roasted, you can eat them on toast, blend them up up into sauce, or add other types to the mix for a more complex flavor.
One new wrinkle: I read on Serious Eats that you can peel some of your best, ripest tomatoes and dry and crush the skins to add to sauce in the winter, so I did a bunch of that, too.
Here are the results.
The tomato skins are easy if you blanch them. Make a large X in the bottom of the tomatoes, plop them into boiling water for about 25 seconds, then into ice water, then peel. At the end of the day, I even had a few tomatoes leftover for eating.
I remember reading in some woman’s memoir of living in the 1800s in Illinois. When women came to visit, the first thing they would do is look at your fruit. The shelves of canned fruit were something to show off. Now you don’t need to visit to see my tomatoes.