Every year the very first veggies ready for harvest from our garden are always English peas and greens. I prefer to preserve my greens by freezing them. I like the taste and texture of frozen over canned. Today, I am preparing spinach but you can use this same method for any type of greens - mustard, Swiss chard, kale, turnip or beet.
Step 1: Plan an easy and or quick supper recipe. If you have a large harvest, you will be tired at days end and will most likely not feel like spending a second longer in the kitchen than you have to. I chose beef tips with onions and mushrooms prepared in my crockpot. I served a salad and creamed peas along side, very easy and an efficient multi-tasked use of my time.
Step 2: Harvest your greens and set get them into your kitchen near your sink.
Step 3: Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil.
Step 4: Remove the edible leaves from the tough stems and place the leaves in a sink full of COLD water. Swish the greens to remove all the dirt. Allow the greens to sit for 10 - 15 minutes so the dirt specks can sink to the bottom of the sink. Your greens will float above the dirt. (NOTE: do not fret if your harvested greens begin wilting before you have finished cleaning them. The cold water will "shock" them right back to the crisp freshness you harvested hours ago. I've even held them in a cool place overnight and "shocked" them back to freshness the next day.)
Step 5: Remove the greens to the other side of the sink and rinse the wash sink. Refill the wash sink with COLD water and repeat step 3. A second wash will remove any remaining grit from the greens.
Step 6: Place washed greens into pot of boiling water and give it quick stir. Cook for 2 minutes, do not overcook.
Step 7: Using a slotted spoon or spatula transfer the hot greens to a tub of COLD water to stop the cooking process.
Step 8: Again, using a slotted spoon or spatula transfer the greens to a colander to drain. Allow them to sit for 30 minutes, occasionally smashing out excess water.
Step 9: Place drained greens into freezer bags, squeezing out any excess air and freeze. I like to freeze ours in quart sized bags which will hold two pounds each. Today, I placed 17 1/2 pounds of homegrown spinach in our freezer.