The fields are cleared and the majority of the harvest is canned, preserved or drying. As the last few weeks of Harvest 2016 wind down, I'm all about shortcuts to make our harvest last.
Today I made sofrito, a mixture that you can make up when your tomatoes, peppers and onions are fresh and bountiful and fresh as a base for many recipes all winter.
Sofrito is most commonly used a base for Latin, Puerto Rican, or Italian cooking... but in my mind, there are so many recipes that you need chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic and peppers that it is so handy to have some of this ready to go. Freeze it in ice cube trays and then pop out into freezer bags so that you can grab a tablespoon at a time or freeze flat in freezer bags (I do 2 cups per bag) so that you can grab for recipes all winter long.
Of course, if you are short on freezer space, I imagine you could can sofrito using a water bath similar to salsa or pasta sauce.
I use these storage tips for all kinds of garden produce. After making a batch of pesto from my basil harvest, I pop it into ice cube trays to access easier a bit at a time.
This year we have a large number of sweet red peppers that are ripening late in the season (thanks to the late frost). One of the ways I extend our harvest of peppers, is to roast them, skin them and throw them into the vitamix (blender) along with a healthy amount of garlic. This mixture gets spooned into (you guessed it) ice cube trays and is used for pasta sauce, red pepper dip, and throwing into chili, stews and various sauces.
What are your tips and tricks for extending your harvest and dealing with an overabundance of any one veggie at this time of year?