Monday 31 August 2015

Kale for the Freezer

It was the turn of the Kale plants in the polytunnel to be stripped of almost all of their leaves yesterday.

Once again I set up my little production line of wash, drain, cook, drain, plunge into iced water, drain and then squeeze out as much excess water as possible.

The difference with kale is that I blanch it for a couple of minutes in a panful of boiling water, just small batches so that it stays boiling and keeps the production line moving.  I love kale's water-proofness when you first wash it to remove all the little critters that have set up home there.  It bobs to the surface and needs to be held under.  But in the boiling water it sinks a little more satisfactorily.

I used the scalded out washing up bowl for the iced water but this time rather than a small bowl, and it sped up the process a bit.  Kale is sturdier than spinach and it sat happily in the iced water for the ten or fifteen minutes it took me to get all of the harvested leaves processed.

Once drained, and spun in the salad spinner I laid all the leaves on a clean tea towel and rolled it up tightly.

Then I peeled all the leaves off and shared them out between half a dozen small tubs ...

... ready to go straight into the freezer.

I have portioned them up ready for one of my favourite meals, which is simple Pasta and Pesto with Kale.  I simply drop the frozen Kale block into the pasta water when the pasta is five minutes away from being cooked, to quickly defrost and cook it, once cooked the pasta and the kale are strained together through a colander, put into a serving dish and a spoonful or two of Pesto is stirred through.  I add a sprinkle of Pine nuts if I have them, or chopped Almonds if I haven't, and you have a speedy, tasty meal on the table in the time it takes to boil the pasta. 

I might have a go at some Kale Crisps with the next batch I harvest, first I have to wait for the plants to produce some more of their wonderfully rich, nutritious leaves.  Has anyone else tried to do them and was it successful ?

Sue xx


  1. Do try Kale crisps, they're lovely!
    Don't cut or tear the leaves too small though, I did on my first attempt and after being in the oven they were delicious, but a bit on the tiny side!
    I used quite a lot of 'Herbamare' seasoning on mine as I like highly flavoured things, and they tasted great!
    I'm a cheese and onion crisp addict, and Kale crisps are just as addictive, but a lot healthier!
    I'm wondering what Cavolo Nero crisps would be like, but I love it lightly stir fried, so may be I'll stick with that for now!

    1. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to give this a go, I too am a cheese and onion crisp fan trying to break my addiction. Cheese and onion Pringles can be my 'falling off the wagon' downfall so easily. Hopefully Kale crisps will stop this :-)

  2. I'm going to try growing kale next year. My brother brought me some seed last week.

  3. WE get kale from a neighbour, perhaps later in the season. We've just had some red potatoes and beans from him. Well I didn't my folks did. But I got to eat them!

  4. Hi Sue how much Kale do you plant so that it provides you with a freezer supply over summer. I am from Australia and have only just started my veggie patch this past winter and only planted 3 plants, thinking this would be enough. Like you I have it in my smoothie most mornings. Love your blog

  5. I have ten Kale plants and about 12 Spinach plants. At the moment I am eating about a third fresh of the Kale and freezing the other two thirds, and the other way round with the Spinach, which is what I prefer usually in my Nutriblasts (smoothies).


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