Friday, June 11, 2010

Cilantro and Pizza in the freezer

What always amuses me is that cilantro is a cold-hardy herb. I planted mine in April and it was the first thing that was edible from my garden. When I think of cilantro I think of salsas and Asian stir fries. I don't think of potato soup and mac and cheese. And I have never had good dried cilantro. Fortunately it is inexpensive to buy fresh, but then I never use enough before it goes bad.

However, you can freeze it! Very simple to do. I just took a large handful out of my garden. Here's the crazy overgrowth.

(No, I do not weed regularly)

Then you just chop it up and add some olive oil and stuff it into ice cube trays. I prefer silicone trays for stuff like this so it is easier to pop out.

I am really all about the Ziplock freezer storage bag with that vacuum pump to seal things. I would love a non-plastic version of this, but my justification is that I wash and reuse the plastic bags. I only wash by hand in lukewarm water with soap so that the heat does not cause any kind of leaching. Yes, I am paranoid.

Then, when you need a tablespoon or so of fresh cilantro, just take it out of the freezer! They thaw extremely fast. In fact, be sure to work quickly when popping them out of the ice cube trays and into the storage bag, because they will start to melt a bit.

Another thing I almost always have on hand is bread dough of some kind. I made 4 quarts of pizza dough last week and never used it. Into the freezer with that one as well!

I divided the dough into four uneven pieces. I intentionally left them uneven so I could choose a smaller or larger piece of dough to work with. Then I balled them up in plastic wrap (also looking for an alternative to this!) and smashed them into a 9x9 inch pan. I stuck them in the freezer for a day or so and then pulled them out. Now I have nice pizza dough bricks. They can thaw in the fridge overnight. So, if pizza is in the plans for the weekend, I can pull one out of the freezer and into the fridge on Thursday evening.

1 comment:

  1. !!! You are so ingenious. I just found your blog, and I already love it! Great posts, pictures, and ideas!