Our garden is bursting with kale and chard. They grow like crazy, even outpacing the weeds. Bob and I use these nutrient rich greens in soups, stir fries, and smoothies. I also like to saute greens with a little olive oil & garlic. Someone asked the other day about how I preserve greens, so I thought I would share my method.
1. Wash & remove as much of the stems as you like (I cut out the thickest part).
2. Slice the leaves in thin strips.
3. Set up blanching assembly line:
a) Large pot, 1/3 full of boiling water
b) Large bowl with cold water
c) Large colander
d) Slotted spoon
4. Put a couple of handfuls of the leaves in the boiling water. As soon as they turn a bright green (which is within seconds) start scooping them out and into the cold water to stop the cooking process. Then dump into the colander. Repeat this process (refreshing the cold water) until all the leaves are processed.
5. Gently push most of the water out of the leaves in the colander.
6. Fill moulds you’re going to use. Here are a couple of suggestions:
a) Use a muffin tin, filling each section, pushing down a bit to clump the leaves together.
b) Fill a small measuring cup (e.g. 1/4 or 1/3 cup) and drop on to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
7. Place in the freezer and leave until completely frozen. I put cooling racks between the muffin tins so I can stack them and still get airflow.
8. Remove from pan and place in airtight container or bag. If you are using a muffin tin, you can loosen the little green muffins by placing the tin in a shallow bath of hot water in the sink or a roasting pan – very briefly is enough time.
9. Take one or more out of the container and use directly in soup, stir fry, smoothie or just fry it up with a little olive oil and garlic. Yum!
NOTE: I use the leftover boiling water to make veggie stock with the vegetable ends that I collect in the freezer until I have a full large Ziploc bag for stock.