Edible Monterey Bay

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By Jamie Collins

Photography By Patrick Tregenza

Here is a simple recipe for saving the harvest and keeping the tomatoes in a versatile state.

  • Dry-farmed tomatoes (available at many area farmers’ markets)
  • Garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh herbs (basil, oregano and thyme)
  • Jars for preserving in your refrigerator or freezer
  1. Halve and toss tomatoes with peeled garlic, Kosher salt and olive oil. For soft, juicy fruit that is suited well for blending into sauces and spreads, roast at 200º F for about 1 hour, then brown around the edges by increasing the temperature to 275º F for the last 20–30 minutes. For a firmer, drier tomato that packs well in olive oil for future use, roast at 150º F or as low as your oven will go for 4–6 hours. Edges should be slightly browned.
  2. Once cooled, dip the tomatoes in a bath of balsamic vinegar and then layer into jars with the roasted garlic, as well as fresh basil, thyme and oregano. Pour olive oil over the herbs and tomatoes until everything is submerged. Top the last inch or so with balsamic vinegar. Store in jars at room temperature for three days and then refrigerate.
  3. As long as the tomatoes are submerged in olive oil, they will last for months in the refrigerator. They will keep even longer by freezing either in their jars (leaving two inches of head room for expansion) or in freezer-safe bags.

About the author

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At Edible Monterey Bay, our mission is to celebrate the local food cultures of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties, season by season.