Why waste it when you can taste it #3: Green, ripe and the peal of the Tomatoes 10 months ago Yannick Schandené 9 minutes There are several reasons why people may want to preserve tomatoes in various ways, such as canning, drying, or fermenting: To extend the shelf life of the tomatoes: Preserving tomatoes allows them to be stored for a longer period of time without spoiling, so they can be enjoyed throughout the year, even when tomatoes are not in season. To save money: Preserving tomatoes at home can be a cost-effective way to enjoy them year-round, especially if you grow your own tomatoes or buy them in bulk when they are in season and cheaper. To enjoy different flavors and textures: Different preservation methods can result in tomatoes with different flavors and textures. For example, dried tomatoes are chewy and intense, fermented tomatoes are tangy and sour, and canned tomatoes are soft and tender. This can add variety and interest to your meals. To preserve the nutritional value of the tomatoes: Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and preserving them can help to retain their nutritional value. Some methods, such as lacto-fermentation, can even increase the nutritional value of the tomatoes by breaking down complex molecules into simpler forms that are easier for the body to digest. Overall, preserving tomatoes in various ways can be a convenient, tasty, and healthy way to enjoy them year-round Conserving Passata Ingredients: 1 kg of ripe tomatoes 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp tomato puree Salt and black pepper, to taste Instructions: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Score a small X on the bottom of each tomato using a sharp knife. Carefully drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and blanch them for about 30 seconds, or until the skins start to peel away from the flesh. Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and discard. Roughly chop the peeled tomatoes and set aside. In a separate saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, and black pepper to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and the sauce has thickened. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the sauce until it is smooth. One of the best ways to conserve passata is to can it. This involves heating the sauce to a high temperature to kill any bacteria and then sealing it in airtight containers, such as canning jars. The jars are then placed in a pot of boiling water and heated for a certain amount of time to create a vacuum seal. This prevents air from entering the jar and helps to preserve the sauce for several months. To can passata, you will need the following supplies: Canning jars with lids and bands A large pot with a rack to hold the jars A jar lifter or tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water A ladle and funnel to transfer the sauce to the jars A kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature of the sauce A timer to keep track of the canning time Here is a simple step-by-step guide to canning passata: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Sterilize the canning jars, lids, and bands by boiling them in the water for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the boiling water using a jar lifter or tongs and set them aside to cool. Prepare the passata sauce according to the recipe and heat it to a temperature of at least 85°C (185°F). Use a ladle and funnel to carefully transfer the hot passata sauce to the sterilized jars, leaving about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of headspace at the top of each jar. Use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the sauce in each jar. It should be at least 75°C (170°F). If the sauce is not hot enough, return the jar to the pot of boiling water for a few minutes to heat it up. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the rim of each jar to remove any sauce that may have spilled. Place a lid on each jar and screw on the band until it is fingertip tight. Place the jars back in the pot of boiling water, making sure they are fully covered by the water. Process the jars in the boiling water for the amount of time specified in the recipe, typically 20-30 minutes. Use the jar lifter or tongs to carefully remove the jars from the boiling water and set them aside to cool. As the jars cool, you should hear a popping sound as the vacuum seal is formed. Once the jars are completely cooled, check the seal on each jar by pressing down on the lid. If it doesn’t move or make a popping sound, the seal is good. What to do with the leftover tomato peel To make a flavored salt with the leftover peels from the tomatoes used in a passata, you will need the following ingredients: The peels from the tomatoes (as much as you have) Salt Olive oil Dried herbs (such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or marjoram) Here is the process: Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the tomato peels on the baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the peels with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and the dried herbs. Bake the peels in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are dry and crispy. Allow the peels to cool completely, then transfer them to a food processor or blender and process them into a fine powder. Transfer the flavored salt to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place. You can use the flavored salt in various dishes, such as soups, stews, salads, or roasted vegetables. It will add a savory, aromatic flavor to the dishes and make them more delicious. Green Tomato Chutney (classic and lacto fermented variation) Ingredients: 500g green tomatoes 200g onions 100g apples 50g raisins 50g dates 50g sugar 50g vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger Directions: Chop the tomatoes, onions, and apples into small pieces. In a saucepan, combine the chopped ingredients with the raisins, dates, sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard seeds, and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the chutney thickens (about 45 minutes). Allow the chutney to cool, then transfer it to a jar or other airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. If you want to ditch the vinegar and give it a more complex flavor: Lacto-fermentation is a process that uses beneficial bacteria (such as Lactobacillus) to convert sugars in the tomatoes into lactic acid. This process gives the chutney a tangy, slightly sour flavor, and also preserves the tomatoes by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. Lacto-fermentation also increases the nutritional value of the tomatoes by breaking down the sugars and other complex molecules into simpler forms that are easier for the body to digest. Overall, lacto-fermented green tomatoes can make the chutney more flavorful and nutritious. Ingredients: 500g lacto-fermented green tomatoes 200g onions 100g apples 50g raisins 50g dates 50g sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger Directions: Chop the lacto-fermented green tomatoes, onions, and apples into small pieces. In a saucepan, combine the chopped ingredients with the raisins, dates, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the chutney thickens (about 45 minutes). Allow the chutney to cool, then transfer it to a jar or other airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. To lacto-ferment green tomatoes, you will need the following ingredients: Green tomatoes Salt Filtered water A clean glass jar or ceramic crock A weight (such as a smaller jar filled with water) Here is the process: Wash the green tomatoes and remove any damaged or bruised parts. Cut them into the desired size and shape (such as slices or chunks). In a bowl, combine the tomatoes with enough salt to lightly coat them. Mix well and let them sit for about 30 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of the moisture. Transfer the tomatoes to the jar or crock, pressing them down gently to remove any air pockets. The tomatoes should be completely submerged in the liquid that was released during the salting process. Place a weight on top of the tomatoes to keep them submerged. Cover the jar or crock with a lid or cloth and secure it with a rubber band or string. Place the jar in a warm, dark place (such as a cupboard or pantry) and let it ferment for 2-4 weeks. Check on it occasionally and skim off any scum or mold that may form on the surface. When the tomatoes have fermented to your desired level of sourness, transfer them to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process. They will keep for several months in the fridge, and can be used in various dishes, such as chutneys, salsas, or sauces. Note: The exact length of the fermentation process will depend on the temperature and humidity of your environment, as well as your personal preference for the level of sourness. You can taste a sample of the tomatoes every few days to monitor the fermentation and decide when they are ready to be moved to the fridge.