Can You Freeze Tomatoes?

The Splendid Table's® How to Eat Supper, By Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Dear Lynne,

Can you freeze tomatoes? My mom thinks I have to can them, which I cannot bear in this heat.

Suzanne in Madison, WI

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Dear Suzanne,

Nay sayers claim tomatoes are slimy when frozen, believing the fruit demands some cooking (as in the canning process) to develop the proper texture. Freezer fans state it's is safer (especially with today's low-acid tomatoes), flavors are better, and mushy tomatoes make no difference in most recipes.

I recommend the laziest kind of freezing. Wash tomatoes, cut away cores, crowd into heavy plastic freezer bags, and freeze. One quart bags hold about a pound tomatoes, which roughly equal 14-ounce cans of store-bought. Defrost them in the bag and an added bonus is that the skins slip off effortlessly as the tomatoes go into the pot.

*Caution: It is essential that you start out with superb tasting, ripe, blemish free tomatoes. This means under no circumstances should you ever buy without sampling first.