Monday, March 19, 2012

Preserving the Harvest: Chard

   As each garden season comes to an end we find ourselves with a need to preserve. Recent heavy rains have brought parts of our garden to become water-logged driving us to harvest one last time before the water destroys it. Today we are preserving the remnants of our Swiss Chard.

   After harvesting the chard, I like to give it a nice soak in the sink to clear out bugs, dirt and other not-so-nice's that may be lurking in the little crevices. As you can see from the picture, we also harvested the kale beds.

   After a nice bath, the chard is placed between two towels; rolled up and given a nice squeeze. I do have a salad spinner, but for some reason I just like to do the chard (and kale) this way. To me, it gets them dryer faster.

   Once the chard is clean and dry they are placed in freezer storage bags with as much air as possible pressed out. I have read several recommendations to blanch the chard before freezing, but I didn't like the texture of it once it thawed (kind of slimy..ewe).
   Frozen chard is similar to frozen spinach when it come to texture and use. We add it to stir fries, soups and dips...or, often it is tossed with a light vinaigrette and baked in the oven for a crisp side dish.
   Now if the summer runs another scorching drought killing off the new plantings we will at least have some of the greens tucked away in the freezer!!

   Apparently all this work wore Hadassah out!


Clint Baker said...

He looks plumb wore out!

Thats a good explanation of how to freeze. Thanks!

Leigh said...

I was happy about your comment about blanching. I don't have a whole lot of room in my freezer, so I limit the fruits and vegetables I freeze, but I admit to finding blanching a nuisance! Sounds like you're thinking along the same lines as me in regards to summer. The suffocatingly hot dry spell is a concern. I'm thinking we need to utilize food storage more then too.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Blanching drives me nuts!

Heather said...

I am getting ready to plant my first garden. I wanted to plant chard (I think it's so pretty!) but I wasn't sure how to preserve it. Thank you so much for this great information. I'm pinning it to my "food preservation" board for future reference. Please let me know if that's not ok!