I didn’t think you could freeze olives. Ew, wouldn’t they come out dehydrated, limp, spongy, or some other form of grossness?
Looking around the internet, I found recounts of exactly that. They’re too water-based, and therefore, when thawed and reheated, all the water in them that previously froze, would come oozing out, leaving them quite disgusting.
That’s also the same thing that makes them so awesome for freezing.
So how do you do it?
Cover them in water! Yep, put them in a muffin tin or small bowl or ice cube trays even – whatever portion size you want for later. I like the muffin tin because it was easy to gauge 1/2 cup portions and between two tins, I could freeze a bunch at once. Then, cover them in a shallow layer of water.
Once frozen, you can pop out your little olive ice cakes and toss them into a Ziploc plastic bag. Later, when you’re making tostadas or Mexican casserole or just feel like snacking, pull out a cup, toss it in a bowl, and microwave until just thawed. Don’t overdo it…some ice crystals are fine and will pop apart easily.
Or if you’re a little more patient, you can run the block under water, but still put a bowl under because the ice doesn’t take long to melt and olives will crumble out everywhere.
When I first bought the 3 pound can of lives, I agreed to only use them in baked dishes where any funky texture wouldn’t be noticed anyway, but even my mom was fine eating them after they’d been previously frozen, straight out of the bowl. Success!
And yes, that’s a lot of freakin’ olives. And yes, I had to slice them all because they came whole. At least they were already pitted! Well worth the few bucks to have a freezer stocked with olives for months for any ol’ random dish I wanted.
Oh yeah! I haven’t had a garden since I was little, but it never fails that at some point in the season, there’s somebody who is desperate to get rid of dozens of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, or whatever else they planted far too much of.
In this case, a friend of the family steadily supplied us with tomatoes all season long last year. Whatever we could pick, we could have, as they were already over run with picking their own and for family. And there was always tons left even after we walked away with bags’ full.
Aren’t they gorgeous? Yum.
And that giant above? His skin was a bit tough, but he peeled and sliced nicely into large steaks of tomato.
And in case you’re wondering how to use up a large amount of tomatoes in a short amount of time, turn ‘em into pasta sauce. I made my life easier by mass blanching, peeling, and slicing all in one go.
Tip: Stand at a low-sitting table or countertop (this works especially well if you’re short like I am, so you don’t strain your back leaning over). Place the cutting board on the edge and scoop the tomatoes and sauce directly off into a bowl or crockpot on the floor. Don’t worry, you can transfer it all to another dish after, if you’re squeamish about your floors being dirty.
Although if you’re squeamish, I wouldn’t recommend this anyway, because uh, you may get tomato juice between your toes. But it makes it so fast! Hehe.
See? It’s a mess, but from left to right, I had an entire baking sheet of blanched/peeled tomatoes, the cutting board I was using, the diced tomatoes were scooped forward toward myself and the tops pushed to the side. You can also see a crockpot I’d already filled, my laptop, various drinking options, a basket of produce, and the slotted spoon I used to dip out the tomatoes in the background.
I kept blanching continuously until I made it through them all, chopping and dicing during the minute they were in the water. I was through them in no time, but boy did it look a mess for a bit, ha.