When it comes to preserves, I always feel a little overwhelmed during the summer months. My ambition is big. The plan is to pickle, jam, freeze, dry just about everything. But the reality is that rarely happens and I end up just sticking to making a few things, that are primarily focused around tomatoes. In my opinion, tomatoes are the number one food that loses all sense of flavor and taste in the off-season. Strawberries, not the best in the winter, but you can make them work. Tomatoes on the other hand, just taste like water. Not even very good water. So even though I would love to preserve every fruit and vegetable to last us through the winter, tomato is my main focus.
The first thing I always make sure to do is stock my freezer with roasted tomato sauce. Slow roasting tomatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs until they are broken down and your house is bursting with goodness. I simply mash it all up together and put in freezer bags, measuring at 1 cup and 2 cups. After my freezer is full, I take the rest of my tomatoes, any kind and size will work, and make tomato jam. It is really the most simple jam to make, and to me, the absolute best. I spread it on just about everything. It also pairs really well with goat cheese, making for a great lunch or impress your guests by pulling out a jar of tomato jam, whipped goat cheese, and crackers. Simple, and delicious.