The summer is quickly coming to an end, and with some of the strange weather- produce is coming in differently than other years, but I thought since this is the season I do most of the preserving of food, I'd share a bit of information.
Make sure when canning tomatoes they are pressure canned or that the PH is high enough. Otherwise you wind up with botulism. Alternatives to canning are dehydrating (think sun dried tomatoes), freezing (best if cooked down into sauces), or roasting and then freezing. Personally roasted tomatoes are a favorite and rarely make it to the canning point in my house.
half roma tomatoes (or large grape tomatoes)
slice larger tomatoes 1/2-1” thick
spray olive oil (other spray oils work, but olive tastes best)
dried parsley, basil, (oregano is optional)
garlic and onion powders (not salts)
Preheat oven to 350
spray cookie sheets, and spread tomatoes out in a single layer (they can touch each other initially, they will contract slightly)
Sprinkle liberally with herbs and spices
Place in oven and roast for 2-4 hours (it they start to brown on top, its a bit too long)
serve with toast and cheese, or fish or puree as a rich pasta sauce, or eat plain- YUMMY.
Green beans, asparagus:
These can be stored blanched and frozen (drop in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute, than transfer to an ice bath),
They can also be canned- use pickle brine, optionally add some hot pepper flakes to give them a bit of a kick.
If you want to make zucchini bread and other similar recipes in the winter, process as you would for your favorite recipes, then separate out into single recipe portions, and freeze in an airtight container or bag. Otherwise, dehydrated they can be tossed in soups and other recipes. Again my favorite options is roasting:
Roasted summer vegetables:
Zucchini, bell peppers, summer squash, onion (slice into rounds)
ground black pepper
onion and garlic powder
optional: chili powder or cayenne pepper powder
olive oil spray
preheat oven to 350
Slice vegetables 1/4” thick (segment peppers)
Spray cookie sheet with oil
lay vegetables out in a single layer
sprinkle with all spices
Bake for ½ hour or until they start to look a bit dried out
Serve warm or cold- good on sandwiches and in salads. Can be frozen and defrosted,
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (kale, chard, spinach, etc)
These can be frozen cooked, but my personal preferred method of storage is dehydration. Then break them up into small pieces and toss in soups, stews, etc all winter long. My husband once commented on the wonderful flavor in a pot of soup and asked about the excess of parsley flakes I had used. I hadn't used any- it was broken up kale. A vegetable he always leaves in the bowl when I use larger pieces, but he does enjoy the flavor from.