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How to deal with vegetable gluts

Love your gluts: veg

If you're up to your ears in freshly harvested beans, peas or tomatoes, then help is at hand. Store, cook and preserve your home-grown produce with the help of our practical projects, and recipes from our friends at BBC Good Food.

Beans

Beans Both French and runner beans freeze well – just blanch in boiling water for two minutes first. Lightly steam and serve with a knob of butter or add cooked and cooled to salads. Never eat raw beans.

 

Beetroot

Beetroot Store beetroot in a box of peat alternative, in a cool shed, and it can last until March. It can be boiled for one or two hours, depending on age, then drained or peeled, or try it wrapped in foil and baked for around two hours. It’s delicious with cold meats in salads with goats’ cheese.

 

Carrots

Carrots Carrots keep for months in dry sand. First, spread a layer of sand in a box, then put in your carrots, making sure they don’t touch. Cover with another layer of sand and store in a cool, dry place. Carrots can be grated fresh for salads, or are delicious steamed, boiled or roasted.

 

Chillies

Chillies For the mildest flavour, pick chillies while they’re still green, leave them to turn yellow for extra bite, or bright red for more heat. Chillies can be dried and stored in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place. Add fresh or dried chillies to curries, stir fries and chilli con carne. Removing the seeds reduces their fieriness.

 

Courgettes and marrows

Courgettes Courgettes are best used fresh, but can be kept for a short period of time by storing in a cool, dry place. Alternatively, turn gluts into chutneys or pickles. Courgettes can be steamed, fried or grilled. Spherical varieties are perfect for stuffing then baking.

 

Onions and shallots

Onions Spread onions and shallots on newspaper or racks to dry. They’re ready to store when the outer skins rustle when you touch them. Hang in a cool, place place, where they’ll last for months. Peel and chop onions for soups, stews, pickles and sauces. Use sweet varieties raw in salads. Shallots are delicious braised whole in casseroles.

 

Peas

Peas Spread onions and shallots on newspaper or racks to dry. They’re ready to store when the outer skins rustle when you touch them. Hang in a cool, place place, where they’ll last for months. Peel and chop onions for soups, stews, pickles and sauces. Use sweet varieties raw in salads. Shallots are delicious braised whole in casseroles.

 

Potatoes

Potatoes Only store perfect potatoes, removing any showing signs of damage, and don’t wash before storage. Exclude all light, to prevent the tubers becoming green and poisonous. Store in hessian or thick brown-paper sacks, checking regularly for rotten potatoes. Wash and scrub before frying, baking, mashing, roasting or sautéing.

 

Tomatoes

Tomatoes Tomatoes are best eaten from the vine, when they are still warm from the sun. They don’t freeze well, but you can store them in the fridge for up to a week. Use in sauces, soups, stews, salads, chutneys and pickles.

 

Deal with fruit gluts

Discover how to use up your home-grown apples, pears, currants and berries, in our collection of advice on dealing with fruit gluts.