Got tomatoes? Maybe your garden is rolling in them, or you just couldn't resist buying an entire flat at the farmers' market. Here's a delicious (and space-efficient) way to preserve their flavor for later: Make tomato paste. Yes, the stuff that comes in cans. Yes, this is better. Much better.
Francis Lam at Gilt Taste argues on behalf of making tomato paste in the home kitchen, even as his girlfriend points out tomato paste's cheap ubiquity: "'Congratulations!' she said. 'You just made tomato paste. It's cheap and comes in cans.'"
Even though tomato paste does indeed come in cans, the homemade stuff is far superior, Lam insists:
Once you've concentrated 3 pounds of fresh, sweet, peak-summer tomatoes down to about a cup, you have a texture like cool butter and flavor that makes you feel like your brain might short-circuit: It's tomatoey, sure, but it's so tomatoey that it threatens to reform your idea of what a tomato tastes like altogether.
OK! OK! You've convinced us!
The best part is that tomato paste is a lot easier to store. It's very concentrated so you can tuck it into spare corners of the fridge or freezer. It lasts for months, frozen, and it will punch up autumn and winter cooking with that magnificent flavor.
Get the recipe: How to Concentrate and Save Tomatoes, Part 1 at Gilt Taste
Do you make tomato paste? Do you feel like it's worth the effort? Or do you prefer to can or preserve tomatoes some other way?
Related: Real Tomato Power: Tomato Paste
(Image: Whitney Chen/Gilt Taste)