When the garden is overproducing and the CSA share is overflowing, finding quick ways to store the harvest for the winter is handy. Here are a few tricks I use to save the overwhelming September abundance for winter.
We are lucky that kale grows so well in New England, but sometimes there is just too much kale! Freezing is an easy way to store the endless CSA bouquets of this wonderful super-food. I wash the leaves, spin them dry, rip up the leaves, and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Pop the pan in the freezer for about an hour and then transfer the frozen kale to freezer bags for easy storage.
I mostly use frozen kale for smoothies — add a handful to the mix. It’s an easy way to add a healthy punch to any blender concoction. Kale is also a great addition to soups and stews.
Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes
An easy way to preserve these candy-like orbs is to dry them. Cut them in half, arrange them cut-side up on a baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper, fresh herbs (optional), and liberally drizzle with olive oil. Dehydrate in a 200-degree oven for 5-7 hours. I put my dried tomatoes in a canning jar, adding enough olive oil to cover the tomatoes (while leaving an inch of headspace) and storing them in the freezer. In February, a jar of tomatoes in oil and a baguette are the perfect antidote to the winter blues.