Few of us can imagine a summer without tomatoes. They are such a ubiquitous part of the home garden, as well as our summer menus. I was lucky to grow up with a large garden and a good teacher, and we were never taught that tomatoes only came in red. Mom always had a vegetable garden, and in that vegetable garden, tomatoes have always ripened to a variety of colors. Sunny orange, blushing pink, and the sweetest of them all was the ripe green tomato named ‘Grandma Oliver.’ We always found the grand ‘Ruby Gold’ bicolor tomatoes, yellow with a bright burst of red shooting through it, the most exciting.
We grow a large number of red tomatoes for canning. Choose varieties with strong flavor, good acidity, and meatiness. Other tomatoes that are not canning varieties may not preserve as well because they lack the characteristics that allow canning tomatoes to hold their texture and flavor through processing. Adding sugar in a recipe, or sometimes an acid such as lemon juice, is occasionally helpful in making a successful batch of preserved tomatoes, especially with non-canning varieties.
For those who are not sure of the tomato varieties they have, we’ve noted where additions would be appropriate in the recipes below. You can find recommendations for canning varieties in seed catalogs and online.
Most of the tomato products we pack into our pantry are red. It’s always fun to preserve that colorful element of the tomato garden with a few recipes that feature non-red tomato varieties. Here are a few of our favorite tomato recipes.
Processing times may vary based on altitude and other factors. Find full processing instructions and an altitude adjustment chart from Ball at FreshPreserving.com.