Versatile, flavourful, a staple of Italian cooking, and good raw or cooked.Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. From Vitamin C, B6, A, and E. Niacin, copper, manganese, folate, and phosphorus, this gem has it all. (Source: WHFoods.org) I cook with them all the time, in season and out. When tomatoes are in season (locally grown), they are plentiful and inexpensive. Buying in bulk and preserving them is a great way to save money, but you can also achieve the same end product from your supermarket for less money.
Hear me out on this before you hit the comment box. Today's canned tomatoes can be bought in bulk and on sale at a very reasonable price. The quality is great and excellent for cooking. I will not name brands here, but I buy my tomatoes in 796 ml (26 fl oz) cans to put in the pantry. With the ingredients being tomatoes, tomato juice, citric acid, salt and calcium chloride, this is as close to vine tomatoes as one can get out of season. The amount of salt is taken into consideration when preparing in a meal, and therefore, just pepper will season these tomatoes quite nicely. I will touch on seasoning a little later.
When you have the need for a tomato sauce, or tomatoes in a recipe, canned tomatoes can deliver in nutrition, and taste all year round.