Freezing Guide: Summer Vegetables
Cut kernels from cobs. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. Chill in a bowl of ice water, drain and pat dry.
Choose 2- to 3-inch okra. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. Chillin a bowl of ice water, drain and pat dry.
String, Flat and Shell Beans
Remove strings and stems or pods. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain. Chill in a bowl of ice water, drain and pat dry. Cut string and flat beans into 2-inch lengths.
Peel, halve lengthwise and seed. Bake in a 300° oven, cut side down, on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. Turn over and bake 30 minutes longer. Let cool.
Choose 4- to 6-ounce zucchini. Cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt (2 teaspoons per pound of zucchini) and drain in a colander for 2 hours. Rinse and squeeze dry, then pat dry.
Freeze in single layers on a baking sheet between sheets of wax paper until solid. Transfer the vegetables to small resealable plastic bags, press out air and seal.
According to the National Food Safety Database, you can keep frozen vegetables for up to a year—as long as your freezer maintains 0°. At higher temperatures, the Database recommends freezing vegetables for only 1 to 2 weeks.
Use in soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, sautés. No need to thaw beforehand.