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Freezing Tomatoes for a Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto sauce can be made using frozen tomatoes that have been harvested and preserved previously. Frozen tomatoes tend to be mushy, and work best in a basil pesto sauce that is cooked. Freezing tomatoes is easy and can be done with any excess harvest from the garden. Add seasonings to the tomatoes after they have been thawed as the freezing process may alter the strength of the seasonings used.

Items Needed

Fresh Tomatoes
Sharp knife
Small spoon
Cookie sheets
Airtight containers, or
Zipper type freezer bags

Wash the tomatoes under cold, running water to remove dirt, dust or other debris from the fruit.

Use a sharp knife to remove the stem end of the tomato.  Also, cut away any dark spots or blemishes from the fruit.

Cut the fruit in half or quarters. Use a small spoon or your fingers to scoop the seeds from the inside of the tomato.

Place the tomatoes in a single layer on cookie sheets and freeze until frozen solid.

Place the frozen, seeded tomatoes into airtight containers or freezer bags, removing as much air from the container as possible. Label the containers with the contents and the date.

Thaw the fruit by placing the container in the refrigerator overnight before making the pesto sauce.

Words of Wisdom

To quickly peel tomatoes before freezing, place the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for one or two minutes or until the skins crack. Plunge the hot tomatoes into cold water. The skins will then simply pull away from the flesh. Freeze as instructed above.

For best quality, use the frozen tomatoes within 8 months.

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Kat and Kevin Yares

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