As we round the corner into autumn here on our farm, I'm often found in the kitchen making preserved tomatoes in olive oil. It is one of those tasks each summer and early fall that I simply must do. One musn't be without these jars of ruby-colored-morsels lined up in the cold room. A jar of gorgeous preserved tomatoes in olive oil is as welcomed in winter as a ray of sunshine. And that's very welcomed indeed.
I opt to preserve tomatoes in olive oil for a few reason:
- I prefer the taste to regular jarred tomatoes
- I have room in my walk-in refrigerator to spare for the storage
- I don't have to bring out my water canner
- I can process the tomatoes as they come off the vine versus trying to save them up for an all-in-one canning day
- I can easily scoop a small portion of tomatoes out as needed without having to open an entire jar
Preserved Tomatoes in Olive Oil
You will need:
- Tomatoes (I prefer cherry tomatoes for this)
- Olive oil
- Salt (or seasonings of choice)
- Clove garlic (optional)
- Springs of fresh rosemary (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet before drizzling them with a touch of olive oil.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt.
- Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes, until the skins have split and the tomatoes are fragrant but still firm enough to hold together.
- Scoop the tomatoes into a glass jar, adding in the garlic and rosemary if desired. Leave 1″ of headspace at the top of the jar.
- Top the jar off completely with olive oil. Using a butter knife, insert it on the inside of the jar, around the tomatoes, helping to release any air bubbles trapped inside. Again, make sure all the tomatoes are covered with olive oil at this point, adding more oil if needed.
- Place a lid and label on the jar before transferring them into the refrigerator for long-term storage.
Lest you think it's unsafe, rest assured, people have been preserving foods in fats (olive oil, lard, tallow, etc.) for millenia. One of the many benefits of preserving tomatoes in olive oil (or any food for that matter) is that if it goes bad – you know. The tomatoes will simply mold. Even if the top of the tomatoes do mold a bit from being exposed to air, simply scrape the mold off with a spoon and keep enjoying the rest of the jar.
Remember, any tomatoes exposed to air will mold over time so each time you use the tomatoes, make sure to submerge the remaining fruits under the oil (add a bit extra if you need to) before putting them back in the refrigerator. If you're faithful about doing this, the tomatoes will last well into next spring for you.
Sigh. What a beautiful gift from the garden in winter!
If you'd like to checkout all of our preserved recipes, you can do that right here.
And if you'd like to checkout a video of my preserved tomatoes in olive oil, you can do that right here.