Preserving Tomatoes: tips from The Diggers Club
Summer offers an abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs suitable to preserve and use throughout the rest of the year. Tomatoes are a classic choice, but you can also preserve a wide variety of other garden favourites. Here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your peak summer harvest.
Tomato preserving is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Passata Day is traditionally held in January throughout Australia, although up North this may be closer to the middle of the year. An Italian tradition, it typically involves deseeding, chopping, boiling, and jarring passata for use throughout the year... and it’s followed by a delicious lunch, of course. But don’t be confined to passata as your only means of preserving tomatoes. Tomatoes can be bottled whole, chopped or blended, they can be dehydrated or semi-sundried and preserved in oil, they can be made into tomato sauce (as in ketchup, not pasta sauce), and even reduced to a thick paste. Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to enjoy a few fresh too!
Tomato Preserving Tips
One of the simplest ways to preserve tomatoes using the Fowlers Vacola system is to roughly chop your ripe tomatoes and press them down firmly into a clean dry jar. Fill to about 1.5cm from the top and place a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice on the surface. Place the ring on the jar and firm down the lid with a Vacola clip. Bring to temperature slowly and maintain system at 92 degrees for 45-90 minutes depending on the size of your jars.
Remove to cool and then store in a cool, dark, dry cupboard.
For more information from The Diggers Club on preserving other fruits and vegetables click here.
If you love risotto, click below for a simple step by step demonstration with Luca.
If you want to explore more of Luca’s recipes click here. Stay in touch @cheflucaciano.