The freezer drawer of flavour
For a whole lot of reasons, not least because I am worried about food shortages once the Brexit transition period is over on 31/12/20, I have been building a frozen stockpile of foods that add taste and interest to basic ingredients like canned tomatoes, pasta, lentils, and rice. So, I now have a whole freezer drawer of things to use to improve most things I cook.
Here’s what I have accumulated in my freezer:
Herbs – parsley, coriander, dill, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, mint, sage, basil, chives
Aromats: garlic, ginger, chilis, lemongrass, lemons, limes, kaffir lime leaves
Soffritto, Italian herb mix, pesto
Raw chopped red onions, white onions, leeks, carrots, celery, parsnips, swede. Blanched potatoes, cauliflower, spinach, butternut squash
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries
Softer herbs are not as nice when defrosted as they are when fresh – they can be a bit soft. If you are using them in a dish, it really doesn’t matter. If you want to use herbs as garnish, it is better to use fresh herbs if you can, rather than fishing soggy leaves from the freezer.
I freeze pesto in an ice tray. Then I just take out as much as I need. I know many people do the same with lemon juice. I am not that organised – I just quarter lemons and limes and pop the segments in the freezer.
I break up garlic bulbs into individual cloves and cut ginger into small pieces before putting them in the freezer. Neither look brilliant when defrosted but taste perfectly fine when cooked.
To freeze berries, spread them on a tray and freeze overnight before putting them in a bag. It stops them clumping together.