Another quickie for you all (shh, none of that).
So, a couple of weeks ago my garden was looking a little bit like this:
The silverbeet was really getting out of hand and had decided it was time to go to seed so it was time to dig a bunch of it up, blanch it, and freeze it.
This was totally my own fault, I’ve grown silverbeet before, I know how big it gets and how much two people can possibly eat, but I got carried away with my planting, and didn’t thin the plants when they came up. On the plus side, we now have frozen silverbeet to last us all the way to the next season. So good-o.
Blanching and freezing – silverbeet
set of scales (not technically necessary, but very useful)
small freezer bags
Fill up a couple of big pots with water and whack them on the stove to boil.
Fill up the sink with cold water. If possible I will wash vegetables in a bowl so I can chuck the spent water on the garden, but here a bowl just won’t cut it – so don’t fuss, fill that sink up.
Wash the silverbeet leaves, with as much stalk attached as you would like to keep, very thoroughly. For reasons that are unknown to me earwigs just really like to hang out in bunches of silverbeet so you might have a few scuttling off looking harassed. Sorry guys. Once all the silverbeet is washed (you may need to refill the sink several times depending on how much silverbeet you’ve got and how dirty it is) rinse the sink sides so they’re clean then refill the sink with clean cold water.
In batches, plunge your washed silverbeet into the boiling water until well wilted and very green. Using a pair of tongs pick out the blanched leaves and put in a colander to transfer to the sink. Put the silverbeet into the cold water to stop it cooking. Repeat until all the silverbeet is blanched – you may need to throw some ice in the sink or replenish the cold water from time to time as it will get very warm quite quickly.
I bagged my silverbeet unchopped in packets of approximately 150g (this is where the scales come in) because the thing we most use silverbeet for is to make Stephanie’s silverbeet and potato torte, which calls for 150g of silverbeet. I didn’t use the ties that come with the freezer bags, rather I just folded the tops over and around so I had a bunch of little bricks that would stack in the freezer. I wrote the date, what it was, and the weight on the packet with a sharpie and slung them in the freezer to be forgotten until the fervent desire for silverbeet hits. Or there’s nothing in the cupboard.