Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Freezing Broccoli

       Freezing broccoli is a seven step process: soak, rinse, chop, blanch, chill, spin, and pack ino boxes.
Broccoli should be harvested when florets are fully formed but before any of the buds of the florets turn yellow. If caterpillars are present, soak unchopped broccoli heads in salted water (about 1 T. per gallon) for half an hour, then rinse well.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here you see my setup, progressing from left to right...on the stovetop is a large pan filled with water to about an inch and a half from the top. In the pan is a large strainer. Next to the pan is the chopped broccoli, a digital timer, and cardboard freezer boxes lined with one pint plastic bags. In the sink is a large bowl of ice water to cool the broccoli after it has been blanched for two minutes. To the right of the sink is a salad spinner, to remove excess moisture before packing the vegetables into the boxes.
       As you chop the broccoli, bring water in a dutch oven to a full boil. Once the water is boiling, add a handful of chopped broccoli to the strainer and place cover on the pan. When the water resumes boiling, set the timer for 2 minutes.

      After two minutes, remove the strainer from the pan, and plunge the broccoli into ice water. I make ice cubes in one quart plastic boxes for this purpose. When thoroughly chilled, spin in salad spinner to remove excess moisture, pack into freezer boxes, seal, label, and freeze. Ahhh, in the winter months you will enjoy broccoli so bright green and tasty, you won't believe it!!


Suzanne Andersen said...

Jane have you any experience with freezing Kale? Lazanata? Can you freeze it with same technique as chard?

Jane said...

I haven't tried freezing kale, but I expect it would be the same as chard. Sorry, but i'm not familiar with lazanata. Is it a leafy green?