Fall is the harvest season par excellence: late summer and colorful autumn produces continue to hit the farmers markets, promising wonderful dishes to make at home. Maybe your parents’ backyard features a flourishing garden? Or you attend the community garden on your neighborhood? Or you have subscribed to your local CSA? Sometimes we come back home with loads of fresh seasonal produces and its always heart breaking to throw them away because we lack of time to cook them before they get stall or spoilt. So that’s why we wanted to share a few tips to store the results of your precious gardening adventures for the Fall season.
Freezing: To preserve all precious nutrients in your beans and broccoli, boil them in a pan of water for a few minutes and then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process— this operation is called “blanching”. Drain, pat dry and place into freezer bags. You can also freeze fruit like apples and pear following this method: peel, chop and pop in freezer bags.
Bottling or pickling: Great way to preserve fennel, onions, zucchini, eggplants and peppers – cut into small chunks and place in a pan with 1 litre each of vinegar and water, and a little salt, then bring to the boil. Drain and pop into sterilized glass jars. Cover the vegetables with olive oil mixed with a little crushed garlic and chopped chillies. Tightly seal the lid and store for up to three months. Here’s a list of the essential canning tools.
Boxes: If frost is predicted, lift carrots and celeriac out of the ground and cut off the foliage. Pack in boxes of dry compost or sharp sand, so they’re not touching, and place in a dark shed. Wrap apples and pears in newspaper and place in single layers in crates.
Drying: Onions, garlic and shallots can be platted, but it’s pretty labour-intensive and, by November, most of the stems have disintegrated. Instead, choose a dry, dark location in your pantry and hang in net bags (old pairs of tights will do the trick!).