Indian Essentials: Freeze Ginger or Make Ginger Paste and Ginger-Garlic Paste for the Winter or Lockdown

The best time to freeze ginger or make Ginger or Ginger-Garlic Paste is Late Summer or Early Autumn. Ginger and garlic are plentiful then, good quality, local and cheap. You can often get young ginger at this time – it is gentler in flavour and delicious.

A good strategy for Autumn is to make a couple of jars of Garlic Paste and Ginger Paste (or Ginger-Garlic Paste),  freeze 1 or 2 kgs of garlic, broken into cloves, to supplement the paste, and freeze some ginger root. Adjust the amounts to suit your family’s consumption of garlic and garlic.

You can also see how to make Coriander Paste. And Chilli Paste. Also how to Freeze Tomatoes for Winter. Explore other ways to preserve goodies for Winter.

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How to Keep Tomatoes for the Winter – Purees, Pastes, Freezing, Drying

In Autumn, tomatoes are cheap and great quality, often more flavoursome than Summer tomatoes. Large bags of them can be bought locally and very cheaply. It is a perfect time to freeze tomatoes for use during winter.

In Autumn, tomatoes are cheap and great quality, often more flavoursome than Summer tomatoes.I can buy large bags of them locally and very cheaply. It is a perfect time to freeze tomatoes for use during winter. And in times of trouble, such as these crazy days of 2020, it is useful to have tomatoes that you can use without having to leave the house to shop.

Other Tips you might like are Freezing Ginger and Making Ginger Paste, How to Freeze Garlic, and Making Coriander Paste.

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Sauce de Tomate | French Tomato Sauce

France is full of sauces. If you are going to categorise French food broadly, you might say – meat, sauce, butter, baked goods. It is pretty accurate – one of my comprehensive books on French cooking contains 2 salads (and some vegetable recipes). To be fair, the salads can be the base for many variations. And to be more than fair, I have spent time working in France so know that there is a large variety of salads. But, yes, meat is the focus.

So, with a love of French food, we pick and choose from amongst the cuisine, and make to our vegetarian style.

This is a beautiful version of a Tomato Sauce – one to add to our many tomato sauces – and, like the others, it freezes very well. Similar to many French recipes, there is a base sauce, beautiful on its own, and a few variations of sauce that can be made with the addition of one or two more ingredients.

Similar dishes include Freeze Tomatoes for Winter, Italian Tomato Sauce, Another Italian Tomato Sauce, and Spiced Tomato Puree.

Browse all of our Sauces, and all of our French recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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How to Freeze Okra

Okra piles up in Late Summer and Autumn – it is abundant and if you have your own plants there is more than you can eat. In the green grocers it is consistently cheap and plentiful, with my local green grocer having a large bin of it that is constantly restocked.

One way to use the Okra is to freeze it for use during Winter and Spring. It is really simple to do, and okra can be stored in ziplock bags for space economy in your freezer.

You can also pickle Okra, or dry okra for snacks.  Both of these also keep the wonderful flavours of okra for you throughout Winter. Why not browse all of our Okra recipes, and explore our Mid Autumn collection of dishes?

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Harissa | Chilli and Red Pepper Sauce

You think that you love Sriracha? I am sure that you have not tried Harissa yet.

Harissa is a well-known hot sauce from the North African and Middle Eastern parts of this world. It is tangy hot, but tempered by the sweet red peppers, roasted for intensity of flavour. This aromatic and spicy chilli paste can be used like a condiment, or added to dishes as they cook, or used to spice up soups, dips, eve your pizza. It is great with vegetables, roast potatoes and couscous. Slip just a little into your salad dressing. But a little goes a long way – it is a hot paste even if you are used to spicy food. In North Africa it’s also served in a pool of olive oil, for dipping bread into.

Harissa recipes vary between countries and regions, but it commonly includes chillies, garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, caraway and mint.

You might like to brows our other chilli pastes. Try Red or Green Chilli Pastes, Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours, or Zhug, a Corainder and Chilli Paste. Or read How to Dry Chillies and How to Make Chilli Powder.

Similar recipes include How to Make Bechamel (White) Sauce.

Feel free to explore our Middle Eastern dishes, and all of our Pastes, Sauces and Spreads. Or simply browse our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Freeze Your Garlic and Your Ginger for Winter Use

Keep good garlic available for winter

Did you know that garlic freezes rather well? I have to thank Kathryn Elliott for bringing this to my attention.

Garlic is a seasonal crop, and local garlic is cheap over summer. It begins to peak in price during late Summer and early Autumn, continuing to rise until late Autumn or Early Winter until it is no longer available. The only option then is to buy overseas garlic of dubious quality.

Ginger, too, can be frozen, for ease of use.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

I recently came across this again, which reminded me of a conversation on Boxing day with Bill and Karen, friends of my brother, while eating Bill’s pesto. The recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and dig out the mortar and pestle. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta. I often leave out the walnuts.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Tomato and Creme Fraiche Pasta Sauce, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

Use Broad Bean and Mint Puree as a pasta sauce too, by thinning it until a suitable consistency is reached.

You might also like our other Pesto recipes. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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How to Preserve Tomatoes for Winter

It’s that time of year again when tomatoes are prolific and sweet tasting. As autumn emerges from under Summer’s cloudless skies and the heat of Ms Summer dissipates a little, tomatoes come into their own.

It is at this time of year that I make tomato paste/sauce, to be frozen for use throughout winter. It can be frozen in icecube trays, then the blocks can be placed into ziplock bags. Cubes are easy to pop into soups and curries.

Pick up tomatoes when they are at their cheapest.  The different pastes and sauces I use are here. Feel free to explore.  Then browse the additional ideas below.

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