Freezing greens

7 09 2007

Greens are one of my favorite fresh veggies from early spring through the fall and they get tucked into many dishes or most often stand out on their own in a simple sauté. Some hardy varieties of kales are available pretty much year round too. To be able to add some zing and variety to winter’s kale and cabbage, I wanted to keep a bit of the tat soi, pak choi, mustard and beet greens for later. Other good choices for this mix are chard, dandelion, spinach and orach. In the spring I use this method for nettles.

Chopped greens

First wash and chop all your greens and place them in a steamer pot with a little bit of water at the bottom. You don’t want to boil them although you could consider a quick dunk in boiling water. Layer the stems and longer cooking varieties on the bottom closest to the heat.

Steamed

I keep an eye on it and stir gently to make sure that all the greens are cooked, but I cook as lightly as possible. These will be cooked more later and I don’t want to lose any more nutrients than I have to.

Cool greens quickly

Once they’re done, I immediately plunge them into ice water and toss on some more cubes for good measure. I will gently mix with my hands to make sure that the cooking stops and they cool as quickly as possible.

Packed greens

They can be frozen in bags or freezer containers. For greens, I like to vacuum seal them in 8 ounce portions. Label and date and into the deep freeze they go. By the way, don’t shun the pot likker. This batch got strained and will be going into a borscht!

Greens courtesy of my CSA share from Jericho Farm of Birdsview. Thanks, Rebecca!

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