It’s canning time! I love this time of year—when most people are just getting sick of tomatoes, I try to turn every last one into a salsa, sauce, ketchup, or chutney.
Last week, I taught a class at the Rodale Test Kitchen to help spread the tomato insanity (which I am calling the great Tomatozilla of 2012) and we had so much fun canning up a storm! Our class made quick work of more than 100 pounds organic, heirloom paste tomatoes and Patrick Montero, the photo editor at Organic Gardening, was on hand to document the whole scene.
We kept things simple, and started by blanching and skinning all of the tomatoes before adding half of them whole into jars, with a few tablespoons of lemon juice. The other half we whipped up into a tasty salsa using local organic garlic, jalapenos, onions, and cilantro. Both recipes were from this great USDA guide for putting up tomatoes, and in just a little over two hours, we had canned more than 30 jars!
Now is a great time to have a canning party with friends and stock up for the year. In just an afternoon, you can can a huge amount of tomatoes, enjoy homegrown tomatoes all winter and have plenty to give away as gifts—if they last that long!