Which food items can I cook now and retailer for wintertime? | Foods

What can I batch prepare dinner now and freeze to brighten my autumn/wintertime mealtimes?
Steph, Stroud, Gloucestershire

“Summer is actually about fruit and veg, that’s what is fascinating at this time of yr,” suggests Oli Brown, chef-owner of Updown, a cafe with rooms on a previous farm close to Offer in Kent. And the excitement can continue on into the winter season dearth if you stew (then freeze) those people courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines now. “You could make a major batch of caponata, for case in point,” Brown suggests. “That would freeze for months, then all you have to do is defrost it, warmth by means of, and it’s possible add a minor extra vinegar, olive oil and clean herbs.” A fantastic caponata hinges on “everything [that is, the veg] being slash approximately the similar dimension, so it all cooks at the exact same time”, then frying the aubergine and courgette right up until golden. “I from time to time put in pears or figs, far too,” he claims. And don’t forget, caponata should really be jammy and rigorous this is not ratatouille (whilst that, way too, will keep fortunately in the freezer).

Minestrone with peas and wide beans would also brighten darker times – just add olive oil and lemon juice when reheating for additional oomph. Meanwhile, for Alissa Timoshkina, co-founder of Cook for Ukraine and author of Salt & Time, dill is a vital ingredient to get into autumn/winter. “I just love it,” she says, and to experience that like all calendar year spherical, she makes a garlic-dill oil by blitzing 50g dill, a huge pinch of flaky sea salt, possibly a small clove of garlic and 100g oil. “Use olive oil or, for a additional japanese European flavour, a superior-excellent, unrefined organic sunflower oil and perhaps a touch of lemon juice.” Freeze in ice-cube trays, then, in the colder months, just pop a number of out and stir into soups and stews.

Really do not give summertime fruits the cold shoulder, both. “Gooseberries, strawberries, figs and peaches make genuinely awesome compotes or purees,” says Brown, who shops them in the freezer all set to dollop on foreseeable future porridge, fold via product for dessert or, in the case of gooseberries, to provide as an choice to apple sauce with a Sunday roast. “It’s a minor taste of summertime.”

Of system, it is not only the freezer that can save summertime – there are jams, pickles and ferments, way too. When it comes to the latter, it is received to be tomatoes, Timoshkina states: “They have an wonderful flavour, and fermented stuff has so a lot goodness in it.” Approximately chop ripe tomatoes or blitz them to a chunky paste. “Add a tablespoon of salt per kilo [of tomatoes], then flavour with anything at all you like – a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of chilli, grated garlic, ginger, or horseradish …”

Seal in a sterilised jar and depart at space temperature and out of direct daylight to ferment for 10 times. “Once it reaches the proper fermentation amount for your tastes, put the jar in the fridge and it’ll continue to keep for the winter” – or at the very least till you’ve polished off the large amount in soups and stews, or blended them with mayo to unfold on sandwiches. As Timoshkina places it: “I’d happily incorporate a tablespoon to fairly significantly whatsoever I make.”