Picture it: a warm end of day, clinking glasses, the sound of chairs being moved across a few square meters of asphalt to make room for friends, laughter and good food. Summer is here, we can feel it in the air, and on the farmer’s, market stalls, overflowing with all its fresh and colorful glory. For some, this equals to a certain festive mood, some kind of laidback hedonism for the next weeks to come. For others, it is an equally pleasure-seeking and flavors abounding time: canning season!
Le Parfait, the famous French jars manufacturer, sides with the latter. Don’t get them wrong, gorging oneself with fresh products all summer long is cool, but finding ways to extend those flavors and treats all year long is cooler. Those strawberry jams that accompanies us in the darkest times of winters are proof of this. So here are 12 recipes for beginners and experts alike, to learn how to preserve, ferment, and ready-meal (make it a verb) summer produces and gave them a longer shelf life.
Below you’ll find jams and pickles, sauces, ready-meal and other fermented delights. Some have those grandma’s (i.e.: easy & efficient) style, while others, - cooked by French food gurus and Michelin stars chefs alike - will pique your curiosity and appetite in new ways. So, if you want to enjoy canning season at its fullest, follow Le Parfait Guide:
The simplest pantry staples to get you started
For those who are new to the wonderful world of canning and preserving, Le Parfait recommends going simple. Choose safe bets, i.e., easy recipes with a few ingredients, that will preserve produces you really enjoy. Bonus, most of those jars are also pantry staples and will probably save one of your weeknight dinners in the future.
Users’ favorite on Le Parfait website are:
One of the easiest jars to make, and yet one of the most versatile. Tomato sauce can be used on pasta, pizza, soup, curry, everything. This is basically the preserve everyone should master and have on his shelf.
This is the essence of pickling: vinegar, water, salt, some spices and a single vegetable can make one of the most beloved preserve. This one is extra safe with a heat treatment, but if you want to skip this part, here’s another pickling recipe for summer produces to set aside in their brine for a while.
Strawberry jam (or any jam for the matter)
Making jam is one of the simplest yet most rewarding activity in the summer. First, the smell of candied ripe fruit slowly melting is a real treat. Second, it’s quite easy to make a big batch and save some money in the process. So here is everyone’s favorite jam: Strawberry, to get you started!
Summer meals, yearly food.
Once you have mastered basics techniques to preserve food, it’s time to step up your game.
Think jars full of flavors and summer recipes that may requires a bit more cooking, but that are so delicious that they’re worth the time. Welcome to the wonderful world of food pairings.
Artichoke in oils is a long-time favorite for preservers and foodies alike. They come in handy in so many occasions, from a last-minute treat to pop when you have friends over, to a weeknight pasta that needs some kick and smoothness. So, this year Le Parfait asked one of France most beloved food duo: @Thesocialfood, their perfect recipe to preserve artichokes. Spoiler, it’s filled with garlic, laurel, thyme and a bit of wine. What we all know makes any food ten times more exquisite!
In France, this is THE classic end of summer vegetable stew. One we love having around all year long because it’s packed with the season’s most appreciated veggies: tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, bell peppers. In wintertime, just pop a jar, warm it on a pan, fry an egg, some grilled bread and voilà. Grill some bread and voilà. Comfort at your fingertips and taste bud.
We love warmer days for two reasons: trees in bloom everywhere and the return of fresh drinks to sip in the shade of the aforementioned trees, all the time. So, when we can hit two targets with one jar and take advantage of the first to concoct the second, we say YES and jump on a delicious elderflower petillant recipe.
Mirabelle Plum Jam with Balsamic Vinegar Recipe
This delicate jam strikes the perfect harmony between sweet and savory. It has a subtle taste with a hint of cinnamon. The acidity of the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar is not too strong, so the taste of the Mirabelle plums comes through. It’s quick and easy to make, either for an everyday breakfast, a cheese platter or to impress your guests on special occasions.
Preserves that will pique both your curiosity and appetite
What’s glorious about canning season, is that it’s an endless well of possibilities. Along with the staples of the season, there is space for curiosity and new recipes to fill your days with sun and taste. Here are some out of the box recipes to get your preserving game on:
Fermented Celery and Beets with mustard seeds
If beetroots and celery are more often associated with winter treats, they are, actually, at their peak season in the early – midsummer weeks. And not only do they bring taste and health benefits to any meals, they also do wonders when fermented. So, grab your jars and mandolin and get ready to take care of your guts tomorrow and the day after that, and after that.
A three Michelin stars beetroot lemonade
Here’s another take on beetroot that is both full of taste and zero-wasty! This lemonade, made with beetroot peelings, lemon, honey and mint explodes with flavor. Thanks to Romain Meder, three-star chef at the Plaza Athénée, you can reduce your waste while making a delicious homemade drink. As a bonus, in addition to being super simple to make, this recipe can be declined endlessly with other fruit or vegetable peelings. Cheers.
Green Been and Sri Lankan spice paste preserve
Here’s the perfect example of a summer produce hitting the winter spot. A creamy, spicy green beans and Sri Lankan curry paste stew that’ll keep you warm and comfy during cold days.
Raspberry, pepper and vanilla jam Recipe
Here’s a jam you won’t find in stores! The vanilla and pepper will add a unique flavor to candied raspberries. Let them soak in sugar together overnight before cooking, and enjoy this sweet, mouthful recipe all year.