Preserving the Season (June 4 - 17)

Peggy Paul Casella, Resident Wordsmith (and Farmstand Associate)  

Here we are at the turn of a new growing season, as we place our last orders for strawberries, asparagus, and rhubarb and anticipate the first local harvests of cucumbers, peas, green beans, celery, broccoli, blueberries, and more. But before we turn all of our attention to the shiny new items of summer, let's relish the flavors of late spring, and preserve this sweet season for months to come.

Check out the following tips and recipes for preserving these last spring-crop deliveries--and enjoy them all year long:

ASPARAGUS: To freeze it, make sure you start with very fresh, rigid spears. Rinse them well, blanch them in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes, then plunge the blanched spears into a large bowl of ice water for 3 to 4 minutes to stop the cooking and lock in the bright green color. Drain well. Pat the asparagus dry and transfer it to resealable bags or vacuum seal bags. Suck out all the air and freeze for up to 1 year.

Other ways to preserve asparagus:

RHUBARB: To freeze it, trim the stalks, then wash them and pat them dry. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces and place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, 2 to 3 hours, then remove from the freezer and transfer the rhubarb to resealable freezer bags or vacuum seal bags. Suck out all the air and freeze for up to 1 year.

Other ways to preserve rhubarb:

STRAWBERRIES: To freeze them, wash and hull the strawberries, and pat them dry. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, 2 to 3 hours, then remove from the freezer and transfer the strawberries to resealable freezer bags or vacuum seal bags. Suck out all the air and freeze for up to 1 year.

Other ways to preserve strawberries: