Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garlic-Basil Canned Tomatoes

What better to do with an abundance of fresh ripe garden tomatoes, than to preserve them for later use.  When tomatoes are canned and processed at their ripest point, that is when they are at their best.  Not only is it a great money saver, because like everything else they are much more expensive at the market when out of season.  But, they can be such a great enhancement to your soups, stews and sauces.  I love to use these garlic-basil flavored tomatoes in with my marinara sauces and  in my homemade soups.  And you can do them anyway that suits your cooking best.  You can leave them whole, chopped or diced.  I usually do a batch of both so that I can have them for anything.  There is just something so satisfying about the fact that I bought the seeds, grew the plants, watered and weeded the plants, harvested the crop and preserved them to have throughout the year.  At any given time I can use my preserved fresh organic tomatoes in my cooking, not just during the late summer.  Make the most out of what you have when you have it.  

8 cups of ripe red tomatoes (washed and diced)
12 fresh basil leaves
4 large garlic cloves (peeled and sliced in 1/2)
4 pint-sized mason jars with rims and lids

-Start your large canning stockpot with water to boil (this takes a while) with the lid on.  Once your water is boiling in your canning stockpot, submerge your clean jars, lids and rings into the water and recover with the lid.  Boil for 10 minutes to sterilize them, but remember to start timing it once the water returns to a boil.  Carefully-using special canning tongs only-remove jars (upright), lids and rings and place onto a towel covered cutting board (so you don't damage your counter tops).  Replace the lid back onto the pot to return it back to a boil and maintain that boil.  Go ahead and start filling each of the jars with about 2 cups of tomatoes, 3 basil leaves and 2 cloves of garlic (making sure that everything is below the bottom lip of the jar top (this is the 1/4" of 'headspace' required to be left void at the top of the jar, if you do not do this they will explode-seriously).   Wipe the tops well with a clean damp rag and very tightly fit on the lids with the rings.  Using the canning tongs again, place jars back into the rapidly boiling canning stockpot, along with replacing the lid, to process for 35 minutes.  Remove the jars with the canning tongs and place UPSIDE DOWN back onto your towel lined cutting board.  Allow jars to cool for about an hour or so, then flip them over to stand upright.  Either your lids should already have 'popped' to seal or they will do so when they are flipped at this point.  If any of your lids are not popped inward, then somewhere there was a mistake made.  These un-popped jars are just fine to eat, but must be refrigerated immediately and eaten within 3 weeks.  Otherwise, properly sealed jars may be kept in a cool, dry, dark place like a cabinet or pantry for up to 1 year.  Once opened, again they must be refrigerated and eaten within 3 weeks.  Makes 4 pint jars.  Enjoy!


  1. This is just what I was looking for! I currently have a counter full of my garden tomatoes that I need to do something with. The whole week has passed by with nothing being done with them. So thanks so much for the idea and I know have my Sunday project all planned out.


  2. Fantastic Kate :) Check out my other enhanced canned tomatoes recipe with garlic and jalapenos. They are great for chili and Tex-Mex style soups and stews :)

  3. What about cutting the acid with lemon juice or vinegar????
    Can you tell I'm a novice? :<( I know when I make salsa I
    have to use lemon juice or vinegar to cut the acid.