Sunday, June 21, 2015

Processing Greens

We grow most of the greens we eat throughout the year. It's an easy-to-grow, prolific crop and freezes beautifully. We plant primarily spinach and chard, but also eat the greens from broccoli rabe. Since we don't use row covers, harvest generally takes place by late spring. However, the unusually hot early June weather caused some sun scald on the spinach and bolting in the rabe.

Left to right: broccoli rabe, Swiss chard, spinach.

The bottom rabe is perfect for eating. Top rabe is still edible,
but open flowers indicate it's past prime.

Chard after blanching. Stems retain their bright color.

After blanching, we'll roughly chop, vacuum pack, add the date and pop in the freezer. 

We use the chard and spinach interchangeably in recipes. Our favorites include sauteed and creamed greens (great accompaniment to steak), in hot dips like artichoke, in pasta florentine, and we've found rabe makes a tasty bitter sandwich topper that's a nice foil to rich Italian meats.

Processing Greens
Wash greens. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Lower greens into water. Cook for 2 minutes just until wilted. Remove greens from water. Chop if desired. Place in freezer container. Freeze. Consume within one year.

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