Jul 6, 2010

Blanching 101

In chatting with other CSAers from all corners of the country, I'm absolutely appalled by the sheer number of people who are tossing their beet greens into their compost piles. The same goes with kale--there's never any love for kale.

Listen up people, I don't care how many obscure leafy greens come in your CSA basket every week, they're not to be used in place of toilet paper--period. But let's not forget, I'm human, not part elephant, so I completely understand how challenging it can be to consume a wheelbarrow full of greens every seven days.

That's why I'm obsessed with blanching, and I swear up and down and side to side that it's really, really easy to do.

First, you find some greens. I found a bunch on top of my beets:

Next, you prep the greens for blanching. Wash them, cut off any stems you don't like, offer up many apologies before you douse them in boiling water--this step is very personal:

Stick your greens in a pot of boiling water. Leave them there until they're completely wilted:

Now you're supposed to put your greens in an ice bath, but the world knows I'm way too lazy for anything so intense, so I just run them under cold water:

Make sure your greens are completely cooled off (or else you'll get steam in the bag), and wring them out. You want them really dry, so wring 'em really hard. I like to pretend I'm wringing the neck of my student loan servicer, or the guy who sold me my car, or my husband--but that's just me:

And finally, stick the greens in a ziploc bag and hide them in the freezer until winter:

Look at that tiny little bag! Even if you don't have a chest freezer in your basement, you can certainly push aside the popsicles and make room for these little guys.

At this point, I have absolutely no advice on what do actually do with the greens when winter rolls around. I'll let you know in January.


  1. You should enter that Oprah contest to have your own show. Seriously.

  2. Doh! I was reading along, all excited, thinking you were going to tell me what to DO with those darned beet greens!

  3. You really should enter the contest. I am dying to know what your calling at church was, when are you going to tell?

  4. oh this so skipped a generation.

  5. Yeah. So, the thing with all these muther effing greens is that in the winter, at least here in sunny CA, they don't go away.

    So blanching it and freezing it and dragging it out in the middle of January does nothing but piss off my husband and confuse the fresh kale in the crisper.

    I learned that after our first winter with a farm share (instead of the winters prior where I'd stopped the madness after the summer share ran out and we found our sustenance at Taco Bell until spring) and swore I'd just let the composter enjoy the beet greens from then on.

    The kale though? Oh, we always eat that.