Saving Summer’s Best

Sadly, summer is winding down.  The good news is that many of summer’s best fruits and vegetables come at the end of the season: heirloom tomatoes, corn, summer squash, zucchini, peaches, berries, herbs, and more!   Now, how to keep these culinary beauties year round?  Because, lets face it, that store-bought peach doesn’t taste the same in January.

Pickling

Pickling is the best method to use for preserving summer vegetables.  Squash, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, and peppers all pickle well.  Pickling is not just for cucumbers!  Pickling is great for almost any vegetable.  A popular southern relish, Chow-Chow  is a fabulous way to make use of your green tomatoes, garden peppers, and cabbage.  Try making your own variations with your garden’s bounty!

Preserving 

This method is best used for stone fruits and berries, although it could also be used for making savory items such as red pepper jelly or chutneys.  Preserved jams make great holiday gifts and your winter brunch parties and breakfasts a will be little brighter with summer fruits.

Canning

Ever wanted year-round fresh tomato sauce?  Canning is the route to go!  A basic marinara can be canned and used for a number of dishes!  Soup bases, marinades, pizza sauce, scrambled eggs, polenta, pastas, or mixed with vegetables, marinara can give any dish a bounce.  Use your garden tomatoes and basil to make your recipe a family favorite to last all year!  Also, try canning salsas!

Freezing

Garden herbs are best preserved by freezing.  You can make a variety of pestos: spicy arugula or traditional fresh basil.  Also an Argentinean chimichurri will utilize extra parsley and cilantro and spice up your meat dishes.  Freeze pesto and chimichurri in ice cube trays for easy portioning.

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