Tosca Reno


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Canning Tomatoes

Eat-Clean Facebook Fan Page follow, Jessica Carringer, asked about clean canning. With summer fruits and veggies becoming more and more available it's smart to think ahead to fall (sorry!) and plan to preserve them. Here, I have bestowed upon you my recipe for clean canning:

Canning Tomatoes

Don’t know what to do with the overflowing batch of tomatoes from your garden? There is nothing better than enjoying these fruits of summer all year long by canning your tomatoes. I have been canning for years and years using a recipe developed alongside friends and neighbors who would join me in the fun. Now it’s time to share that recipe with you.

YIELDS:  15 L – 20 L of sauce
COOK TIME: 1.5 hour

1 bushel of ripe Roma tomatoes picked over and washed
½  cup fresh lemon juice
8 Tbsp sea salt
8 Tbsp oregano
4 large onions, peeled, chopped fine
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 whole bunch fresh basil
Several whole garlic bulbs broken into cloves, each clove peeled

Preparation for Canning:

1. Place tomatoes in large cooking vessel or several smaller ones.  Put enough water in so the tomatoes can come to a boil but not burn.  You don’t want too much water either or the sauce ends up more like soup. Once your tomatoes have softened enough in the cooking process, remove from heat and set aside.

2. Assemble your “grinding station.”  No this is not what happens at the club on Friday nights!  You will need a large vessel of some description, I usually use a very large cooking pot and a food mill.  Use a coarse straining disk in the bottom of the food mill.  Set the food mill over the cooking pot.  I normally put this assembly in the kitchen sink so I can contain the splatters a bit and also so I can more easily reach the top of the pot. Transfer the partly cooked Roma tomatoes into the bowl of the food mill.  Grind the batches so the sauce drips into the pot.  You will occasionally have to remove some of the skins and seeds from the mill.

3. Once you have ground all of the tomatoes, place your large pot over a medium high heat on the stove.  If I am preparing an entire bushel of tomatoes I usually have two large pots of sauce.  Bring the tomato sauce to a boil.  Add ¼ c of fresh lemon juice to each pot.  This is to bring the acidity up a little and help the preserving process.  Next add  4 Tbsp sea salt and dried oregano to each pot. Bring the sauce to a boil.  When boiling reduce to low and let simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. While this is happening sautee the onions until soft in olive oil.  When soft, divide between the two pots and stir well.


1. Make sure you have at least 12  - 20 clean 1 liter canning jars on hand.  I often have extra just in case. Also have enough clean rings and lids. I usually put all this in the dishwasher and let it wash while I do my tomatoes.  This way the jars are properly sterilized and super hot for the canning part. I put the lids with the rubber seal in a small pan of water and let them simmer on the stove to sterilize them.

2. When I am just ready to pour the hot sauce into the jars, I remove the jars from the dishwasher and place 2 cloves of garlic and 1 stem fresh basil in each jar.

3. Using a Pyrex measuring cup begin to transfer the hot sauce into each jar.  Once each jar is full, immediately wipe the rim with a clean kitchen towel or cloth and place one boiling hot lid rubber side down on top of the jar.  Screw the ring top over to keep the lid in place.  Set aside and repeat until all jars are full.  If you have a bit of sauce left over just use it for dinner.  DO NOT can half a jar of sauce.

4. Now place jars in a boiling water bath and process for about 20 minutes.

5. Remove jars from hot water and wait to hear the telltale “ping” that tells you your jars have correctly sealed.

Tosca’s Tip: If you like your sauce hot you can put a hot pepper in the jar when you add the garlic and basil before pouring the sauce on top.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite part of Fall...the aroma of fresh tomato sauce and the excitement of knowing I will be able to enjoy it all winter long...brings me back to my garden (well, in my mind anyway)


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