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.
Preserve your summer vegetable crop with this sauce that can be enjoyed year-round.
This easy-to-store pesto requires only four ingredients before freezing.
A warm soup with garden ingredients will be a welcome treat next winter.
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.