Every year, the end of summer and the return to routine brings with it a hint of nostalgia for the sunny days and intense flavors of the summer season. That same magic, made of bright colors and unmistakable aromas, which we can find in a jar to open when needed. Here are some tips to prepare a rich one winter pantry with oil, vinegar and more!
Protagonist of the "pack from down" of students and workers from all over Italy in all formats and types. The infinite varieties of tomato preserves are a must for mothers, grandmothers, aunts from the south who make it their summer pastime. Impossible to try to decree definitive recipes because there are hundreds of variants, but the big star it is always the tomato in all its facets.
The simplest is undoubtedly the puree (usually from San Marzano, Regina or Pera d'Abruzzo) indicated for the preparation of sauces or creams, in which the tomato must act as a "basic element" to which only salt is added, but which can be flavored with basil or oregano.
It is flanked by peeled tomatoes and chunks perfect for filling pizza or being used in preparations that require a thick and full-bodied sauce.
But there are also more typical variations that include the addition of other vegetables, for example in Abruzzo peppers, an essential basis for a typical winter dish of peppers, tomatoes and eggs "in Purgatory".
Datterino, corbarino, Pachino and yellow tomatoes, on the other hand, can be preserved by intertwining the twigs of the bunches. It is essential to dry them in a dry and cool place, without covering them, to be able to enjoy them until Christmas, for example on bruschetta or to flavor soups.
The same types of tomatoes, as well as the fiaschetto, the pizzutelli and the nickel free tomatoes, today increasingly sought after due to the spread of food allergies, can be cut in half and baked in the oven, to then obtain the pulp to be stored in a jar with just adding a little salt: they are perfect for seasoning pasta or preparing a bruschetta.
Due to its intense flavor, the datterino is perfect confit: cut in half and put in the oven for slow cooking at low temperature, seasoned with salt, pepper and sugar. It is then stored in glass jars where it is possible to add chopped garlic and thyme or basil.
Peppers, aubergines and courgettes are inevitable on our summer tables and lend themselves very well to storage in jars.
In particular, the aubergines, cut into slices that are not too thick, can be roasted and placed in glass jars, seasoned with salt and garlic or enriched with small pieces of tuna and unsalted capers, and preserved in oil.
The courgettes, cut into very fine slices, are left to blanch in water and vinegar for a few seconds, then left to dry and placed in glass jars, with the addition of salt, chopped garlic and parsley or mint and oil. They are perfect for an aperitif or a side dish.
Aromatic herbs and chilli
Aromatic herbs and spices, whose scent floods our countryside, gardens and balconies from late spring to late summer, are essential in Italian cuisine.
There are various ways to try to preserve its fragrance. Basil, for example, can be preserved for months and in an optimal way in glass jars to keep in the refrigerator: after having washed and dried the leaves well, just put them away, avoiding crushing them, in glass jars with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. .
Thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, sage and bay leaf can be dried in a cool place, taking care to cut small twigs or leaves, and placed in strictly glass jars, so as not to change the flavor, to be kept in the pantry.
There are endless ways to store peppers and chillies.
It is possible to prepare a necklace to be left to dry well in the sun for a few days or to dry them in the oven at a low temperature, after having placed them on a well-spaced tray, and then stored in airtight jars.
A very practical way is to freeze them, in bags or containers, after letting all the air escape, to use them even without the need to defrost them.
Finally, two classic methods: cut into small pieces and fried in abundant extra virgin olive oil or always preserved in extra virgin olive oil, after having salted them and eliminated all traces of water to avoid the formation of mold.
In both cases stored in this way, the peppers last more than a year, just put the jar in the fridge once opened.
Lots of ideas to fill up on summer vegetables and spices and enclose their goodness in a jar, but also an excellent gift idea for friends and relatives. They will love you!
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