An Abundance of Tomatoes and Basil in Your Garden?

If you've already shared with friends and family and still find yourself overloaded with these wonderful vegetables, consider freezing them for winter use.

Freezing tomatoes is much easier than canning and can be done this way:  Wash your tomatoes thoroughly and dry with a towel. Place each tomato on a baking sheet and lay in the freezer until frozen through. Remove from the baking sheet and place in a freezer lock bag. This method keeps the tomatoes from sticking to one another so you can remove as few or as many as you need going forward. Once defrosted. the skin will rub off easily. Then use the meat of the tomatoes for your favorite sauces and remind yourself of the warm summer days that grew your beautiful tomatoes.

As for basil, you can make some pesto and freeze in small portions in an ice cube tray. I combine a couple of handfuls of basil, stems included, in my food processor with a 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of asiago cheese. This is a spinoff of a recipe in chef David Becker’s book Sweet Basil. Freeze and enjoy on your winter soups and pasta dishes. I even use it on baked chicken.