Painless Preservation

By Katie Chriest / Photography By Sheldon Peterson | September 09, 2017
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Homemade basil pesto and cherry tomatoes

Harvest time occasionally pairs a pile of produce with waning energy to deal with it. Fortunately, you can easily preserve the local harvest and your sanity. Note: If you freeze sauces and pestos in glass jars, leave an inch of space for expansion.

THE OL' BLANCH-AND-FREEZE METHOD

Drop pre-cut veggies into boiling water for 1-3 minutes, then move immediately to ice water until cooled. Dry on lint-free towels and freeze. Great for kale, collards, Swiss chard, broccoli, beans, summer squash, etc.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY SLOW-COOKING

Chop whatever’s fresh into your slow-cooker and set on low for 2-4 hours. Puree to desired consistency and freeze. Serve with rice or pasta, or add broth for soup. Great for greens, tomatoes, herbs, potatoes, garlic, onions, etc.

WHOLE FOODS, LITERALLY

Freeze whole in baggies for later use in sauces or salsas. Great for: tomatoes, peppers (pre-sliced, if desired).

PESTOS AND PUREES

Puree herbs with EVOO or water and freeze flat in baggies. You can also freeze pestos in jars (simple pesto recipe follows). Great for most any culinary herbs.

SLOW-COOKER APPLESAUCE

Core apples (only remove skins if desired) and add to slow-cooker alone or with a touch of sweetness or spice. Cook for 6 hours on low. Puree to desired consistency. Great for any local apples. 

Bowl of basil

Roughly-Rendered Pesto

Yield: 1 – 1½ cups

About 3 cups loosely-packed culinary herbs (basil, cilantro, etc.)
2-3 garlic cloves
¼ - ½ cup toasted nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, etc.)
¼ - ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup or more EVOO
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Note: all amounts are to taste, feel free to experiment
 

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add more EVOO or water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Article from Edible Western NY at http://ediblewesternny.ediblecommunities.com/recipes/painless-preservation
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