Green onions

Now that the strawberry harvest is essentially over [whew!], it’s time to start picking and processing some of my other spring garden plants. The first of these that is ready (besides the lettuce, of course, which we’ve been enjoying in salad for several weeks now), is my green onions, hence the title, how to freeze green onions.

I should note that I love green onions. They add just the right “zip” to salads and sauces, a taste I long for all year long. Unfortunately, when it comes to homegrown onions, it’s just not possible to keep picking fresh green onions from my garden year-round without a greenhouse…something I don’t possess yet!

frozen white onions

So I’m left with the next-best option: freezing them. I know some people will say that green onions aren’t worth adding to salads after they’ve thawed, since the texture changes from crisp to somewhat soggy. Since I add the onions to salads, pizzas, sauces, and soups, I care less about the texture and more about the fact that I know exactly where these onions came from and what happened to them between the time they were picked and the moment they arrived at my kitchen table. So I freeze away.

Separating onions

Here’s how. First, I let the green tops get pretty long. In some cases, I wait until they’re just about ready to flower. Then I pick them, give them a good wash, and separate the green tops from the white bottoms. (Yes, there is that “light green” area in between the dark green tops and white bottoms; I prefer to include it with the white portion when freezing.)

pan with green onions

Next, I slice the onions as if I were getting ready to serve them (green on one pan, white on another), lay them out on a large cookie sheet, and flash freeze them in the freezer while I process the next batch. (This usually takes about 15 minutes.)

scraping the pan

Finally, I scrape the onions to remove them from the pan’s surface, turn down the top of a quart-size freezer bag (making it easier to dump in onions without spilling them everywhere), and scoop the onions into the bag.

putting in the bag

Note that I hold the bag over the pan, so that any errant onion slices fall back onto the pan and not all over the counter. Also note that the onions thaw very quickly, so if you don’t work fast, too, you’re likely to lose the effects of the flash freeze.

frozen green onions

All that’s left is to flatten the bag, push any extra air out, and seal it. Return the bag to the freezer, where it’s ready to provide those yummy greens all year long!

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