Happy Sunday Readers!
I hope you are enjoying your extended weekend. I know I sure am 🙂
It seems as though we look forward to long weekends only to catch up around the farm. Last week we were blessed to get a large amount of rain…. 5 inches…. and wind 😦 My garden has taken quite the beating. My tomatoes look like they are acrobats and my broccoli plants are now growing sideways. Amazingly my broccoli plants are yielding much more that last year. I think that 5 gallon pail of dry fertilizer has sent everything into overdrive.
With this over abundance of broccoli I chose to freeze this crop in small portion baggies versus preparing it fresh. Here’s how it’s done….
Step 1. Harvest your broccoli.
Sorry all…….I forgot to take a picture after I was done cutting….. just trust me, it was a lot of broccoli!
I choose to cut the broccoli head with a trimming scissors vs. tearing it off. It seems to heal and reproduce faster that way. Look for the broccoli heads that are green in color and tightly bound. Harvesting the loose heads that are beginning to flower will not result in good eating. They are off in flavor and texture… I’ve tried it.
Depending on the variety of broccoli in your garden, you may want to trim up the head’s by plucking off any leaves or discolored edges.
Step 2. Salt water soak
After you have trimmed everything to your desired size fill a large dishpan or bowl with warm water & salt to create a brine. The rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon per gallon. I choose to sprinkle salt into the water for about 4 MISSISSIPPI’S …… who wants to dirty that measuring spoon anyhow!?
Add your broccoli florets and let soak for 25-35 minutes.
If you have ever grown broccoli before you know how much the little green garden worms love to nestle in these little florets. The salt water brine will extract those little pest. You will more than likely see a handful of them float to the top or settle at the bottom.
I’m lucky enough to own a pampered chef steam bowl and use it quite often. It works perfectly for this project.
- Cover the bottom of the bowl with water roughly 1/4 inch deep. You do not need much.
- Fill the bowl with broccoli out of the salt water brine and cover.
- Set your microwave for 5 minutes…. and wait.
Every time I hear this word I think of the Golden Girls 🙂 They just don’t make good comedy like that anymore … HAHA
In simpler terms, create an ice bath and submerge broccoli immediately after you remove from the steamer. Submerge for 5 minutes.
This step may not be 100% necessary. However, I figured it couldn’t hurt and I have this handy pampered chef salad spinner in my cupboard.
After blanching is complete, move broccoli into a salad spinner and remove as much excess water as possible.
6. Bag & Freeze
Its as easy as that, folks 🙂
I chose to package my broccoli in to 8 small sandwich size baggies. This makes it easy for single servings if necessary. Fill baggies roughly 3/4 full and lay flat. Use your fingers to push as much air out of the bag as possible while sealing. Try to do this without mashing the broccoli.
To reheat simply place frozen broccoli in a bowl or steamer with a small amount of water and microwave until thawed (roughly 3-5 minutes).
Enjoy and thank you for reading! God Bless!