Juicy peaches, sweet tomatoes, a bouquet of fresh herbs — why not savor them year-round? Follow these quick methods to preserve the season's bounty.
Preserve tomatoes, ocra, or zucchini in oil. Blanch whole in boiling water, cool completely, halve, and roast on an oiled baking sheet at 160 degrees for about 1½-2 hours. (Tomatoes must be peeled and seeded before roasting.) Season with fresh garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and layer in a 1-quart jar. Pour in enough olive oil to cover. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to three months.
Freeze puréed veggie blends. Try potatoes, pumpkin, and coconut milk; potatoes, carrots, and leeks; or spinach, turnips, and onions. Boil vegetables separately until cooked through, purée equal amounts in a blender, and freeze. Thaw and add to soups, breads, curries, or omelets.
Make herbed butter by mixing ½ cup chopped herbs with 1 cup softened salted butter. Wrap in waxed paper and freeze. Combinations — lavender and oregano, basil and garlic, or dill and tarragon — jazz up pasta and sauces. Or use to sauté fresh vegetables.