Endless Summer: 3 Recipes for Fresh Tomatoes and Basil to Freeze for Later

Make and freeze these easy recipes while you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes and basil. You'll appreciate them so much more this winter.

| July/August 2010

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are varieties that have been passed down over time because they feature valued characteristics, such as resistance to pests, adaptation to specific growing conditions and more. Increased genetic diversity in food plants reduces the risk of famine caused by plant epidemics.

Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

Our grandmothers preserved treasures from the garden in dark, cool larders. Most homes today are without such a room (although basements and garages will do), so modern food preservers turn to the freezer, which will keep pesto and sauce so-close-to-fresh for months.

Built-in freezer compartments provide enough space to store more frozen goodness than you might think. Making good use of that compartment is a great way for busy families to preserve the harvest, and a full, well-packed freezer uses less energy because it leaves less space for the warm air (that will need to be chilled) that invades each time you open the door.

When freezing food in glass, press a small piece of plastic wrap (slightly larger than the container’s opening) directly onto the surface of the food to be frozen, then seal the jar as directed. The plastic wrap prevents food from dehydrating in the freezer’s ultra-arid conditions, resulting in better texture and flavor and fewer ice crystals.

A terrific guide to freezing foods is available at the University of Georgia’s National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Preserve your summer vegetable crop with this sauce that can be enjoyed year-round.

Freezer Pesto

This easy-to-store pesto requires only four ingredients before freezing.

7/2/2014 2:16:01 PM

We are told not to put tomatoes in the frig because the cold ruins the flavor but what about freezing? Can we put raw tomatoes in the freezer or should we only freeze cooked sauces? Why would cold hurt and not freezing?

6/26/2014 12:17:10 PM

I myself have been freezing tomatoes for years and other things that you happen to need just when you thought you were out of it there it is in your freezer and if you have it in a zip lock baggie you can preserve the freshness of whatever you need too preserve so it stays fresh and tasty! You know how when you cut an onion you don't use the whole thing but it's already cut so you can dice it up and have it in the freezer and use what you need to and you can do bell peppers the same way celery just about anything like these produces !!

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


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