Updated: May 15, 2020
This recipe has become a staple in my home. I find myself using tomatoes so often when I cook that I felt it would be easier to jar my own. Not only do they stay fresh for up to a year, but they taste so much better than canned tomatoes. Jarred Tomatoes are great for pizza sauce, pasta sauce, or even soups/stews.
*This recipe makes 4 (16oz) mason jars of tomatoes
20 Roma Tomatoes
2-3 Tbs Course Salt (Adjust To Taste)
15-20 Fresh Basil Leaves (Optional)
4 Tbs of Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Sterilized Mason Jars with sealable lid and cap
Start off by washing all of your tomatoes and transfer them to a large stock pot. Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the tomatoes. Bring the water to a boil and let the tomatoes simmer. Once you are able to see that the tomato peels are starting to come off, turn off the heat and drain your tomatoes. At this point, we want to peel the tomatoes and remove the stem area. I like to cut my tomatoes in half but you are welcome to leave yours whole if you prefer. Add your tomatoes to a mixing bowl and mix in your salt per your taste. At this point your tomatoes should have a decent amount of juice released and I encourage you to taste the juice to make sure the salt level is perfect. Be sure that your jars are sterilized before using them. Once everything is tasting great, stir in your lemon juice and start filling your jars up with the tomatoes, adding in 4-5 fresh basil leaves in each jar. I like to add my basil leaves in the middle of the jar. Basil leaves are optional. I typically use these tomatoes in Italian recipes so the basil is a perfect addition to the tomatoes. Be sure to leave some space on top of your jar so that that jar can vacuum seal shut when you go through the sealing process.
Once your jars have been filled and are shut tightly, they are ready for the sealing process. Place a wire rack or plate on the bottom of a large stock pot and place your jars on the rack. Then fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars. The wire rack or plate will ensure that your glass jars will not crack during this process. Bring your water to a boil and reduce it to a simmer once it has reached a boil. Set a timer for 45 min and let the pot simmer with the lid on. Once 45 min have passed, turn the flame off and let the jars cool down completely. If you try to take the jars out before they have cooled completely, there is a high possibility of them shattering.
Once they have cooled down, take them out of the water and dry them. You can check if to see if you have successfully sealed your jars by pressing on the top of them. If you hear a clicking sound, this means that the jar is NOT sealed and at this point, would would have to refrigerate it and use it within 2-3 days. If you do not hear a click and it is firm when you press it, this means that jar is sealed and you can store it in a cool place for up to a year. This process can be done with many other vegetables that you may want to jar!