I “put up” 22 quart bags of kale last week and there is plenty more to do this weekend. Last weekend, I took pictures of the process, anticipating a blog entry. It took a whole week, but here you go…freezing kale!
1. Pick the kale. I knew I was going to chop it so I didn’t get too picky about leaf size, just dumping everything into a grocery bag.
2. Wash well. This grows in dirt, folks, so cleaning is essential. I floated mine in the kitchen sink. I did about one sink load at a time
and that yielded 4 to 5 quarts of frozen kale.
3. I had my large pot about half filled with water and coming to a boil while I chopped. I stacked the kale leaves, rolled them and then sliced them into strips.
4. Into the boiling water, for about 2 minutes. Since I wanted to be able to reuse the boiling water, I scooped the cooked kale out with a large colander and am on the lookout for a great bamboo scoop. Then, into ice water. From there, I took it out, gave it a squeeze and put it on clean towels to dry a bit more.
5. One more gentle squeeze and I made piles on the cookie sheets about the size I wanted. I slid these into the freezer for an hour or so or overnight with the last tray…then into the quart bags. Since I didn’t have official “freezer” bags, I put four quart bags in gallon freezer bags to help with preservation.
I don’t think this is a product that will live forever in the freezer but we’ll have kale again in that fall so I just need enough to get me through the summer.
I did all my chopping with my knife except for a brief attempt at using the food processor. It did not work well: not consistent so I ended up with big pieces and then very little pieces. Not wanting to waste a bit of kale (goodness knows we might run out ;-), I made kale pesto with garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil. We spread it on leftover garlic bread and ran it under the broiler. Quite good, if I do say so myself.
The next experiment is putting it in breads and muffins.