Tomatoes can be stewed or cooked down into sauce before freezing, but the easiest thing to do, when they are overflowing from the veggie patch, is to freeze them whole.
- Wash and core ripe, firm, un-bruised tomatoes of uniform size then place them, in a single layer, on a baking sheet in the freezer and leave until frozen solid.
- Once frozen, transfer them to freezer bags.
- To use for cooking, simply shower them with a spray of warm water to thaw and slide the skins off.
- Stuffed tomatoes can be prepped and baked in quantity and then frozen for later use.
Gently washed herbs can also be freeze-dried on baking sheets, and then bagged for freezer storage. For herbs that you will likely add to sauces or soups, freeze them in ice cube trays.
- This can make for even more convenience later if you measure a set quantity, say one teaspoon, into each compartment of the tray. Fill the remaining space with water then freeze.
- When frozen solid, place the cubes into freezer bags or containers, being sure to note the quantity of herb per cube.
- For basil lovers, try making pesto and then freezing it – with one tablespoon per cube – no water needed. Pesto cubes, like the herb ice cubes, are perfect for tossing one or two at a time into soups for a burst of fresh flavor or for thawing in larger quantities for pasta or pizza topping.