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.

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

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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.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

A warm soup with garden ingredients will be a welcome treat next winter.

Healthy bites

Tomatoes: Contain lycopene, an antioxidant found to lower cancer risk; excellent source of vitamins C, A and K; good source of dietary fiber, magnesium and iron.

Basil: Excellent source of vitamin K; good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A; anti-inflammatory; promotes heart health.

Ken Hoyt spends most days creating delicious candies for his small company,  Willamette Valley Confectionery . He routinely smells of sugar, butter and chocolate.