Technically, my favorite way is still, roasting tomatoes. But, since I saw this post on Epicurious about the beauty of grating tomatoes — to eat right now — I’ve been re-thinking my position on roasting. Grating, with the use of some power tools, just may be the fastest way yet to preserve the full flavor of summer-grown tomatoes.
Raw, fresh tomatoes can be frozen, whole, to be used later in sauces all winter long. The tomatoes are bulky and cumbersome — so I thought why not combine the best of both worlds, and grate them, into a “sauce” so that the tomatoes are ready to be used in any form you wish. You could pull some of the recipe ideas from Epicurious, or ROAST them. While I haven’t tried roasting grated tomatoes yet — I can imagine the advantages. Including — much more even roasting (starting with everything as uniformly the same size) — and speed. I can imagine roasting grated tomatoes will be a very quick affair that will require undivided attention. But, I’ll have that for another winter day…
Storing grated tomatoes this way, in the freezer, lets me use my new favorite space-saving freezing technique of stacking. The plan, which I’m already using for pesto and my perpetual bone broth, is to fill a ziplock freezer bag with the food, and then to let it freeze flat. The advantage is a very thin layer of preserves that can be easily “broken off” to use as needed.
Of course — I did not hand-grate the tomatoes — I took advantage of the bowl on my new favorite tool, the Nutri Ninja Duo. This made a very quick process of the job — which made it much easier to add bits of basil from the garden as the blades chopped the tomatoes and basil all at once.
Here is one caveat: Beware — this is the best tomato juice you will ever drink — so make sure you save enough to actually make a bag to go into the freezer.