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Easily Preserve Cherry Tomatoes

October 10, 2014

It’s beyond easy to preserve cherry tomatoes. In fact, these may be the easiest edibles we put by to enjoy in wintery meals. No excuses for not doing this one!

Preserve Sungold Cherry Tomatoes like these

Preserve cherry tomatoes like these Sungolds right after you pick them off the vine.

These little bites of summer are the first tomatoes to begin ripening in early summer and the last to stop bearing fruit in fall the Pacific Northwest. And, when a generous variety  — like these sugary-sweet Sungold — starts bearing, it’s easy to find yourself harvesting a pint or more from one plant each day from July until frost. So, even if you’re cutting tomatoes into every dish you make in late summer and early autumn, odds are you’re still finding your counters overrun with a glut of tomatoes.

When slicers are juicy and ripe, the cherries just don’t seem as exciting anymore, so we preserve them right off the vine every day from about August through, well, October (this year). That might sound like a lot of work, but it requires just a few moments to complete these simple steps:

  1. Harvest ripe fruits.
  2. Clean & destem ripe fruits.
  3. Place clean, whole fruits into a zipper freezer bag.
  4. Place freezer bag of fruits in freezer.

Each day when you harvest more fruits, repeat the steps above, adding to the same bag. Just don’t smoosh the fruits into a crammed freezer, and each orb will freeze in its rounded form.

Fresh tomatoes ready to preserve

Continue to add freshly harvested, clean cherry tomatoes to your freezer bag each day during harvest – such a simple way to  preserve cherry tomatoes for winter soups, braises & stews!

These little cherries pack a lot of flavor. While they won’t work well in a green winter salad, they’re perfect to toss by the handful into a simmering soup, chili, stew, or saute. Because they freeze in bite size morsels that don’t generally stick together, grabbing just a few from your resealable bag is easy. And those peels will just melt away as you cook them.

Now…back into the kitchen to fill the dehydrator with more San Marzanos, and I’ll be tossing another pint of Sungolds into the freezer, adding to the almost 5 pounds of cherry tomatoes we’ve frozen since early September. Hmmm…I think it’s time to start a new freezer bag so I don’t smoosh anything!

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