This month, the entire world (or at least our Instagram feed) seems to be filtered through the glassy lens of a Mason jar. The race to preserve summer produce is on, and we’ve been happily taking part.
We’ve stashed a few jars of Martha Holmberg’s plum-raspberry jam with cardamom and ginger for holiday gifts, and we’re spooning turmeric and coriander-flecked corn relish from Jessica Battilana’s volume onto as many late-summer hot dogs as we can muster.
But our favorite late summer preserving event is something we started doing after publishing our second edition, Tomatoes by Soa Davies. Soa offers our very favorite method for a basic tomato sauce, perfect for spooning into Ziplocs and freezing for a cold winter day. And we can’t resist her oven-roasted tomatoes, which she preserves in olive oil for safekeeping.
So the last few summers, we’ve made a project out of it: we buy 10-pound boxes of tomatoes from the farmers’ market, invite a few friends over, turn on the music, open up some wine, and spend the afternoon processing tomatoes. It has become a tradition that we look forward to and cherish.
In case you’re planning a tomato put-up party of your own, here’s Soa’s recipe.
20 Roma tomatoes
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 to 8 thyme sprigs
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 275° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, cut a shallow X on the bottom of each tomato. Add the tomatoes to the pot and blanch for about 20 seconds, then transfer to an ice-water bath. When the tomatoes have cooled, peel, core them and squeeze out the seeds, then cut the tomatoes in half crosswise.
Place the tomatoes in a large mixing bowl along with the garlic and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle enough olive oil over the tomatoes to generously coat them. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 2 to 2½ hours, until they’re lightly caramelized and a bit dry to the touch. Let the tomatoes cool completely, then transfer them to Mason jars or airtight containers and cover completely with olive oil.