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Vegetable Preserving Guide

Bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbages and so much more! The summer offers an abundance of fresh vegetables, and we all love to stock up on them. Here are some preservation tips so you can enjoy them after the growing season.


1Grape tomatoes

Freezing

Storage life: 3 months

Wash and delicately wipe the tomatoes before placing them on a baking sheet to put in the freezer. Once they are individually frozen, slide them into a freezer bag.

Add them to sautéed pasta or use to make salsa.

Preserving

Storage life: 3 months after canning

Unless they are already cooked, always avoid putting tomatoes in the refrigerator. Instead, keep them on the counter out of direct sunlight and heat. Rinse in fresh water before eating.

For reduced tomatoes: place them on a baking sheet with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes at 350°F, until the skin of the tomatoes splits. Take out of oven and let cool. Serve with bocconcini or put them in a Mason jar, cover with oil, and seal the jar.

Reduced tomatoes are perfect for making pizza sauce and bruschetta.

Cooking

Storage life: 4 to 7 days in the fridge after cooking

For salsa: slice grape tomatoes in two, then add lime juice and zest, red onions, fresh cilantro, green onions, garlic, olive oil, jalapenos, salt and pepper. Prepare 24 hours in advance to release all the flavours.

For bruschetta: slice grape tomatoes in two, then add garlic, shallots, roasted bell peppers, olive oil, crushed chili peppers, salt and pepper.

Ideal for pasta, pizza and omelets.

2Portabella mushrooms

Freezing

Storage life: 3 months

Do not wash mushrooms because they already contain plenty of water. Instead, wipe them with a moist paper towel to remove any dirt and impurities.
In salads: cut into thin slices and add fresh thyme and rosemary. Serve on a bed of arugula or spinach, with flaked almonds and an Asian-style vinaigrette with soya sauce, sesame oil, green onions and sriracha.
Perfect for salads, risottos, braised meats and pasta.

Preserving

Storage life: 3 months after canning

For a marinade: cut mushrooms into thick slices, then boil 2 minutes in lemon water. Remove from water and add sunflower oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place in a jar and seal it.

Cooking

Storage life: 4 to 7 days in the fridge, 48 hours after cooking

Store mushrooms in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. Protect them in a paper bag or leave them in a ventilated container to release moisture.
For fried mushrooms: marinate for 30 minutes. Then wipe, coat in flour, dip in a beaten egg, cover with breadcrumbs or panko for more texture.

3Bell peppers

Freezing

Storage life: 3 months in the freezer

You can freeze peppers after washing and drying them (removing the stem and seeds). If you thinly slice the peppers, place a sheet of parchment paper on a tray, then spread the peppers on top before placing the tray in the freezer. Once they’ve hardened, transfer them to airtight freezer bags. Thaw out as much as you need by leaving them in the fridge for a few hours. These are perfect for stir-fries and fajitas.

Preserving

Storage life: 4 months after canning

Slice the peppers in half, seed them and place them on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and grill in the oven until the skin turns black. Cover with aluminum foil as soon as you take them out of the oven. Let them rest for 10 minutes, after which the skin should peel off easily. Once peeled, cut them into thick slices and transfer to sterilized jars with olive oil, roasted garlic and some herbs (thyme, oregano whatever you like). This is delicious with cold cuts and cheese or on pasta.

Cooking

Storage life: 6 months in the cupboard

If you don’t have a dehydrator, use an oven to dry your peppers. Cut them into uniform slices, seed them and place on a baking sheet. Put the tray into the oven at 100°F (40°C) for 6 to 8 hours. Make sure that they are fully dried out before transferring them to airtight containers. The slices will rehydrate as you cook them or you can soak them in water for a few minutes. This is great for omelettes, pasta or to add some colour to salads.

4Onions

Freezing

Storage life: 6 months in the freezer

Onions freeze well whether raw or cooked. Raw: Peel and cut them however you like (in dices, slices or chunks). Avoid cutting them too small because they may congeal into chunks of ice. Transfer them all to an airtight freezer bag and put them in the freezer. Cooked: Peel them before blanching in boiling water (whole or in chunks). When they are ready, shock them in a bowl of ice water and let them dry before freezing. This is perfect for stir-fries, stews and soups.

Preserving

Storage life: 3 to 4 months in the fridge

To pickle onions, blanch them in boiling water, shock them in ice water and then peel them. Place them in a large bowl with 1 cup of coarse salt and 4 cups of water. Let them rest for 24 hours before rinsing and draining them. Boil 2 cups of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Divide the onions among sterilized jars, add a touch of garlic and cover with the vinegar mixture. Serve with hors d’oeuvres or in a martini.

Cooking

Storage life: 6 months in the freezer

Puree the onions with a little olive oil in a food processor, then pour them into an ice cube tray to freeze them. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to airtight bags or containers to prevent freezer burn. These are fantastic as a base for soups, dips or stews.

5Cucumbers

Freezing

Storage life: 3 months in the freezer

Due to its high water content, cucumber should be cooked before going into the freezer.

To make a healthy gazpacho, purée 1 cucumber, 2 bell peppers (red and green), ½ an onion and 4 tomatoes. Put this mixture in a large bowl and set aside. Then purée 8 tomatoes, ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, fresh coriander leaves and garlic, then add to the mixture in the bowl.

RECIPEGazpacho

Preserving

Storage life: 3 months in the fridge or 6 months after canning

Boil small cucumbers in a mixture of one part water and one part vinegar, with a touch of salt and sugar. Transfer to sterilized jars, then add your choice of aromatics (mustard seeds, garlic, shallots, small hot peppers, dill, etc.). Let marinate for 10 to 15 days. Delicious with cold cuts, cheese or a fondue.

Cooking

Storage life: 3 weeks in the fridge or 12 to 18 months after canning

For a homemade relish, finely dice 15 peeled and seeded cucumbers, along with 2 red peppers. Mix in 8 finely chopped onions. Transfer to a colander and sprinkle with ¼ cup of salt. Let drain for 2 hours. Boil 4 cups each of white vinegar and sugar in a large pot, then add the drained vegetables. Simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes. Transfer to sterilized jars. This is the perfect topping for your hot dogs and hamburgers. Looking for a healthy alternative? Try a cucumber-yoghurt dip for raw vegetables.

6Cabbage

Freezing

Storage life: 6 to 8 months

After removing the base of the cabbage, peel away the whole leaves. Blanch a few leaves at a time for 1 or 2 minutes in a large pot of boiling water. Stop the cooking process by shocking them in ice water and let them dry on paper towel. Once they are dry, place them in an airtight bag in the freezer. They thaw quickly in the fridge. These are great for soups, stews and stir-fries.

Preserving

Storage life: 2 weeks in the fridge

Shred cabbage (add some grated carrots if you like) and mix with 1/3 cup each of cider vinegar and mayonnaise, plus 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard, 2 tablespoons of sugar and season to taste with spices (turmeric, cumin, oregano, etc.). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours so the flavours blend and the cabbage softens. This goes beautifully with grilled food.

Cooking

Storage life: 2 weeks in the fridge

To make homemade kimchi, put 4 cups of chopped cabbage in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, 1 clove of garlic and julienned carrots and onions. Mix it all together and let macerate for 1 hour. Rinse and wipe dry before adding 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, as well as a pinch of powdered chili. Transfer to a jar, making sure to pack the mixture down well and leaving some space at the top before sealing. Let this rest in the fridge for an hour for quick consumption. Use as a topping for sandwiches or with cold cuts.

TIP :

Be sure to carefully follow our tips on safety and canning methods in order to ensure your food won’t spoil. Take a look at this handy guide.

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