This was the year the rabbits were everywhere we looked and often as not, dining on our peas. So this year the Swiss Chard looked very lovely to us. We harvested all of it, rinsed it in buckets outdoors, cut it into thin slices (3/4"?) , and packed it into a laundry basket to bring it into the porch
In the kitchen the freezing process begins with blanching the chard. To blanch a vegetable is to put it into boiling water very briefly, then to plunge it into ice water to stop the blanching process. Blanching kills enzymes in the produce that would otherwise cause it to go bad in the freezer.
|Here you see the chard in the strainer in the boiling water.|
(Naturally you would keep the lid on while blanching.)
Broccoli or chard would be processed for two minutes. Smaller foods, such as peas, would need just one minute.
|After two minutes I remove the lid and lift the strainer full of chard |
and let the excess water drain back into the pot...
|...then I dump the chard into a cold water bath to put a stop to the blanching process. |
You don't want to cook the chard, just put the enzymes out of commission.
As each batch of chard becomes cold, I remove it from the ice water, spin it dry in a salad spinner, and pack it in to quart freezer boxes.
In the winter we will cook down a whole box of chard in the wok with olive oil and garlic. Dee-lish!!
|The huge colander full of chard is reduced down |
to four and a half quarts ready for the freezer.
the boxes for other uses.