Quick Preserved Bottled Tomatoes
I am so excited to share with you my Quick Bottled Tomatoes Recipe! It is very handy to have a bottle of this in your fridge ready to add to any meal or even as a topper! You’ll find me adding it to my bolognese sauce, stews, steaks, grilled chicken, fish, salads, on bruschetta, tacos, over avocado, with eggs and bacon and so many more recipes. It’s so versatile that you can eat it straight from the jar or as mentioned, you can add it to your cooking.
I had to come up with a quick way to bottle tomatoes because I am often found buying tomatoes that are hidden in the corner of the fruit shop on sale because they are too ripe for anyone to buy. It's one of those things I just can’t see food being thrown out. I know the effort farmers put into growing this delicious fruit but I also remember the pride my father felt when he grew his own tomatoes.
Tomatoes and beans were his favourite to grown in his vegetable patch and he made it known. You see back then there was no digital cameras but instead 35mm film. When we would pick up the photos from the camera shop, half of them were of dad pulling aside the leaves of the tomato plant to reveal a cluster of heirloom tomatoes. There were also photos of him holding the same tomatoes with his hands to prove how big in size they were. He found so much pride and happiness in this simple activity that it often makes me think that we should be enjoying nature and the simple things in life more often.
I am very fortunate to have my mum still with me and she loves how I make these Quick Bottled Tomatoes. I’m pretty sure dad would love them too though he would say they need to be served on a thick slice of country style bread with crumbled feta over the top! LOL
Let me know if you make them!
1.5 kg tomatoes
2 white or brown onions, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional)
½ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ -1 cup extra virgin olive oil (depends on how much you pack the jars)
2 x 400g ball mason or equivalent jars
1. Add to a pot all the tomatoes and fill it with water. Place onto stove top and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Take off heat and add to an ice bath to cool. The skins should just slide off. Cut tomatoes in diced pieces (I cut them into eighths).
2. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and spread over the tomatoes. Then add the onions, garlic, basil, sea salt and pepper.
3. Place into a preheated oven of 200C fan forced for 30 minutes.
4. In the meantime arrange you jars.
*Note: I always have ready-to-go sterilized jars. If you do not, then I suggest you place clean jars and lids in a clean kitchen sink. Boil water and fill the jars and lids with boiling water. Leave them for 15 minutes. Using kitchen gloves, tip out the boiling water and have the cooked and hot tomatoes ready to pour into the jars that are still warm from the boiling water.
BE VERY CAUTIOUS NOT TO BURN YOURSELF.
5. Once tomatoes have been baked, pour them into the hot jars immediately with about 2cm - 3cm head space. Pack them in tightly.
6. Add extra virgin olive oil enough to cover about 1cm above the tomatoes. Then using a spoon or or butter knife push it around the inside of the jar to release any hidden air pockets. The oil will drizzle into those air pockets so you may need to add some more oil.
7. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean paper towel and seal with the hot lids. Push the centre of the lid in and you will hear a ‘pop’ sound that the lids are sealed. Turn the bottled upside down and allow remaining in this position until cooled down.
8. The bottles can be left out for 2 weeks in a cool place however if you do not intend on eating them soon, they can remain in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. Once opened, eat within 3-4 days.
**Optional: I have also added a large red capsicum to this recipe. Peel with a potato peeler and finely dice the flesh. Add it to the tray as you would the onions and garlic. It adds a lovely flavour alternative.