Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blanching and Freezing Greens


Bonar Rape

Mixed greens


Blanching and freezing greens is quick and easy; in Denver I did in summer to insure cooked greens in winter, here in Tampa I do it in spring to insure them for summer when brassicas are very very difficult to keep alive beyond some varieties of collards. I just chopped the leaves into my colander using my wonderful kitchen scissors until I have a LOT of them in bags or bowls (they shrink a LOT when blanched). I put 3-4 inches of unsalted water in a BIG stainless steel soup pot, put on the lid, bring the water to a boil, then toss in a lot of chopped greens and use a big spoon to push them down into the boiling water. I cook them a maximum of 3 minutes, then drain, (I save the water for the next batch if on a blanching marathon, or let it cool to water plants with) and pack into used yogurt and cottage cheese tubs, or the freezer bags I often dumpster dive new boxes of behind discount stores, then toss into the freezer. If it looks like there is airspace in the container, I add some of the cooking water to fill those voids before I freeze it to avoid "freezer burn". About the only thing one can do "wrong" with blanching is to overcook the leaves, but even then they are still great to thaw out to add to soups. Give it a try. Google it to see the differing approaches people favor.

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