Garden Goodies

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You’re seeing beets, collard greens, kale, green beans, Italian and padrone peppers, eggplant, summer squashes and tomatoes on your plates in specials and menu items. Now that the sun is out and it’s heating up the summer crops are really getting into full swing.

Although tomatoes are just starting to ripen, it won’t be long before we have more than we can use in between harvests. We have found the simplest way to deal with these luscious summer gems is to roast them.

Preheat oven to 350. Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and place on parchment paper cut side up. Season with salt, pepper and a good amount of olive oil and roast until the tomatoes have slightly browned or charred edges and have “slumped”. This can take 2-3 hours but the amount of time will depend on the size and varietal. Let cool slightly before removing skins, rough chop flesh and slide into a freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing (be sure to include the flavorful oil and juices). Freeze flat on a cookie sheet so the tomato bricks are easily stackable once frozen. You can enjoy summer tomatoes into the fall and winter in sauces.