Monday, January 18, 2010

Preservation Lessons Round #1

A friend asked that I share some information about freezing greens and preserving tomatoes. Since we’re still eating from a big pot of vegetable soup and I won’t be cooking for a couple of days, I thought this might be a good time to address some of those questions.

I’ll start with the greens. Some people might still have greens growing undercover in their gardens, depending on the weather in your area. Ours gave up for the winter in December, but during those heady growing days a few months ago there were plenty to freeze. It does make me feel good to pull out my own bag of greens to put into a pot of soup rather than using a box from the store.

Freezing greens is one of the easiest things to do. I’ve done it two ways and both seemed to work.

Method #1

1. Wash and chop greens.
2. Heat olive oil in appropriate-sized pan.
3. Saute until just wilted.
4. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
5. Put greens into labeled freezer bags.

Method #2

1. Wash and chop greens.
2. Heat water to boiling.
3. Blanche greens for two minutes
4. Remove from pan into ice water.
5. When cool, squeeze out excess water.
6. Put greens into labeled freezer bags.

I want to emphasize, chop the greens. There were a couple of times when I lazily skipped that step. When I pulled them out of the freezer to use, I didn’t realize until they were unthawed that they still needed to be chopped. It’s much easier to do that when they’re fresh. And when do you ever cook with greens that haven’t been chopped?!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Beth! Any tips for teen-friendly use (roasting?) of a butternut squash and a fennel bulb that called to me when I was in the grocery store? Beth