Onions and garlic are rolling out of the fields and into our kitchens, and school is about to start. What do these two ideas have in common? Kids, shortcuts and planning ahead. Here’s the kid part: I am fortunate to have a child who is proud to tell anyone that he likes onions, but I know lots of families with picky eaters who will go through great pains to avoid these foods. My Brazilian aunt couldn’t stand that her daughters wouldn’t eat onions or garlic, so she began to puree them with olive oil. When she cooked, the flavors were there, but no visible remains were to be seen or picked out by the girls. The adults in the family no longer had to suffer through a bland meal and the kids were happy too.
I’ve made pastes like Thai curry and roasted chile and frozen them successfully before, so I thought I’d see what happens with the onion garlic combo in the freezer. I wasn’t sure what freezing onions and garlic would do to their flavor, so I did a little test run, and I think I’ll be very happy having two containers of this stuff when it comes to whipping up quick soups and other one-pot meals in the fall when I’m busy with teaching. That’s the short-cut and planning ahead part.
I have an automatic ice-maker and no ice cube trays so instead I use a cake pan to freeze my purees.
Once the paste is a little frozen, I score it with my pastry blade then pop it back into the freezer to firm up.
After it freezes a little longer, score it again on the lines. Now the squares can be removed and placed into a freezer container for later use.
Next fall and winter when using the frozen puree, just start with some oil in a hot pan and drop one of the squares in. Once you break it all apart, lower the heat. You’ll want to just let it cook enough to release the flavors, but not burn the garlic.
Frozen Garlic and Onion Puree Recipe
3 large onions
3 whole heads garlic, peeled
Peel the garlic, chop the onions and puree them in a blender. You will need to pulse and push the vegetables down. Add only enough oil to make the mixture smooth. Follow the directions above for freezing, or spoon into ice-cube trays. Once the cubes are made, they should be kept in a good airtight freezer container. I’ve used both freezer bags and the new ziplock brand freezer containers. I like the containers better because they can be reused many times.
Note: I have a Breville Blender with a wide bottom base. It works great for jobs like this.