Most vegetables, with the notable exception of watery salads, may be frozen after blanching for around one to four minutes
The exact length of time depends on the type of vegetable, with sliced courgettes requiring just one minute and tougher vegetables, such as carrots, needing the full four minutes. Tomatoes can also be frozen but only for use in sauces as they lose their shape on thawing. Many fruits can be frozen in sugar or on their own, while excess herbs are excellent chopped up and set into ice cubes for dropping whole into recipes.
This step-by-step project shows how to freeze peas. When it’s time to enjoy your frozen veg, simply place them into lightly salted, boiling water and simmer until tender. Alternatively, to steam, begin defrosting until the individual pieces can be teased apart. Your resurrected vegetables should taste as good as the day they were picked!
To freeze peas begin by shelling the pods. French and runner beans should be topped, tailed and runner beans cut into 3cm (1in) lengths. Courgettes can be prepared by cutting into 1cm (0.5in)-thick slices
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. You can use this water to blanch up to 3kg (6lbs) of vegetables before it needs changing. Blanching will prevent enzymes from impairing character and flavour
Fill a wire basket, muslin cloth or colander with a maximum of 500g (1lb) of prepared vegetables and lower it into the boiling water. The boiling water should have a volume of at least six pints to ensure it can return quickly to boiling point
Keep the hob on a high heat and bring the water back to the boil. Once boiling, cover the pan and vigorously boil peas and beans for two minutes (courgettes for just one). Lift out the vegetables, shake off and immediately plunge into cold water
After the vegetables have completely cooled down they need to be dried off. Drain them off then gently pat them dry between kitchen paper or clean tea towels. Giving them a spin in a salad spinner beforehand will hasten the drying time
Decant your dried vegetables into Tupperware containers or polythene freezer bags. Label each container with its contents and date of freezing. Place the frozen vegetables in the freezer where they should keep for up to a year