Vegetable Care- specific crop instructions

Note: Plastic bags should be perforated. See general notes for information.

Arugula

Fresh: Don’t store wet. Store in fridge in a plastic bag lined with a towel or wrapped in a towel or in an open container covered with a towel.

Freeze: Freezing not recommended, however, if you choose to, blanch for two minutes followed by a cold water bath. Dry, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Dry pack without headspace. You can also freeze a purée or arugula and oil, a pesto, though withhold nuts and cheese until thawed and ready to use. Freeze in a rigid container or in ice cube trays. After cubes are frozen put into freezer bags and put back in freezer.

Asparagus

Fresh: Don’t wash before storing. Store in fridge. Wrap base of stalks in a damp paper towel; place in a plastic bag. You can also put stalks in a glass jar of water with a plastic bag loosely covering the stalks.

Freeze: Sort by size. Cut to fit freezer container(s) or into 2″ lengths. Blanch small stalks for 2 minutes, medium size stalks for 3 minutes and large for 4 minutes. Dry pack or tray pack.

Basil

Fresh: Susceptible to cold and wet. Store in fridge in a plastic bag on the front of the middle shelf or on the bottom shelf. Or put stems in a jar of water and keep in fridge or on the counter. You can also rinse the leaves, place the leaves on a towel, wrap them up gently and store in fridge. Use as soon as possible.

Freeze: You can simply tray pack the leaves, whole or chopped then put into freezer bags. Just break off the amount you need. Another method is to chop up the leaves and put from 1 t to 1 T in each cube of an ice cube tray, add water to top of cubes, freeze until frozen, then remove and place in freezer containers. Make a purée of basil and oil, leaving out nuts and cheese, and place in a rigid container with a layer of oil on top, then freeze.  Or fill ice cube trays with the purée, freeze until frozen, then repack and put into freezer. Also, check out “Freezing Basil Leaves” in our recipe blog for another way to freeze basil.

Beets (Butter/Chiogga/Detroit/Golden):
Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Sort by size. Trim, leaving about 1/2″ of stem and the tap root. Boil or roast until tender. Cool, remove stem and tap root, peel, then slice, dice or julienne. Tray pack first or just pack in a freezer container and freeze.

Beet Greens

Fresh: Remove rubber band. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in open container covered with a towel.

Freeze: Stem if you wish, cut into pieces or not. Blanch 3 minutes, then cool in an ice water bath, drain, dry, squeeze out moisture, and package with some headspace.

Broccoli

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Trim, separate or cut into pieces not more than 1 1/2″ across. You can cut the florets from the stalks and freeze each separately. To remove possible insects, soak florets in a brine for 30 minutes (4 t salt to 1 gallon of water). Blanch for 3 to 4 minutes for florets and stalks, 3 minutes for florets only, 5 minutes for stalks only. Cool in ice water, dray. Tray pack or not, then package in freezer containers.

Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in open container covered with a damp towel to keep from drying out. Best if used within a few days.

Freeze: Remove large stems, which you can blanch and freeze separately, or combine with blanched leaves before freezing. Blanch leaves, chopped or not, for 3 minutes, cool in ice water bath, dry, squeeze out moisture, then dry pack.

Cabbage (Green/Red/Cone)

Fresh: Cabbage can keep on a cool counter for about a week. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or unwrapped. Cold, moist conditions are best. Peel off outer layers as they begin to wilt.

Freeze: Frozen cabbage is only suitable for cooked dishes, not slaws. Remove coarse outer leaves, core. Cut into wedges, shred either medium or coarse, or separate into leaves. Blanch 1 1/2 minutes, ice bath cool, drain, dry, then dry pack.

Cabbage (Napa/Savoy)

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Frozen cabbage is only suitable for cooked dishes, not slaws. Remove coarse outer leaves, core. Cut into wedges, shred either medium or coarse, or separate into leaves. Blanch 1 1/2 minutes, ice bath cool, drain, dry, then dry pack.

Carrots

Fresh: Separate tops from roots, if so attached. Store in fridge in a plastic bag. You can put a damp towel in the bag. If limp, carrots can be refreshed by soaking in cold water. Carrots turn bitter when exposed to ethylene.

Freeze: Peel or scrub well. Leave whole if not too large, otherwise slice, dice or julienne. Blanch whole carrots 5 minutes, cut carrots for 2 to 3 minutes. Ice bath cool, drain, dry, tray pack or dry pack.

Carrot Tops

Fresh: Remove rubber band. Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Not recommended. If you insist, then rinse, remove large stems, separate leaves or coarsely chop, blanch 2 minutes, drain, dry, then dry pack.

Celeriac

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp towel.

Freeze: Peel, slice, dice or julienne. Blanch 2 minutes. Ice bath cool, drain, dry, then dry pack.

Choi (Bok/Joi/Pac)

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: For Bok Choy, separate leaves from stems, steam blanch or water blanch separately or not for 2 minutes. Ice bath cool, drain, dry, then dry pack. For Joi and Pac Choy, you don’t have to separate the stems from the leaves.

Cilantro

Fresh: Remove rubber band. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or put stems in a jar of water covered loosely with a plastic bag. The front of the middle and bottom fridge shelves best for storage. You can also rinse, then place leaves and small stems on a towel, wrapping them up gently and storing in fridge.

Freeze: Chop finely (with stems or not), tray pack, then put into freezer containers. Chop finely (with stems or not), then put from 1 t to 1 T each in ice cube trays, fill with water, freeze into cubes, remove frozen cubes, then package in freezer containers. Purée with oil then put into a rigid container covering purée with a thin layer of oil or put small amounts of purée each in ice cube trays, freeze, then put frozen cubes in freezer containers.

Collard Greens

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag. Can be wrapped in a damp towel. Also does well with stems in a container of  water on the counter or in the fridge.

Freeze: Stem, chop or slice leaves. Water blanching is better than steam blanching for collards. Blanch 4 minutes, ice bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze out moisture, dry pack.

Corn:
Fresh: Leave husks on. Store in coldest part of fridge in a plastic bag as soon as possible. Best eaten as soon as possible, as natural sugars turn to starch quickly.

Freeze: Cob: Husk, remove silk, sort by size. For small cobs (1 1/4″ or less diameter) blanch 5 minutes, medium cobs
(1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″) 6 minutes, large cobs (+1 1/2″ diameter) 7 minutes. Ice bath cool for as long as blanching time. Drain, dry, then tray pack. Another method is to peel back the husks, remove the silk, put the husks back over the cob and tie the ends with string. Dry pack without blanching. Cut corn: Husk, remove silk, blanch 4 to 5 minutes depending on size, ice bath cool, drain and dry. Cut kernels off, then try or dry pack. Cream style: Cut kernels from raw cobs, scrape cobs to get as much of the ‘milk’ as you can, then put kernels in a double boiler and heat, stirring, for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Cool by placing pan or bowl in ice water, or if you have room, in the freezer, then package.

Daikon Greens

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Stem if necessary. Blanch 3 minutes, ice water bath, drain, dry squeeze moisture out, then pack.

Dandelion Greens

Fresh: Store in fridge in plastic bag.

Freeze: Blanch 3 minutes, ice water bath, drain, dry squeeze moisture out, then pack.

Dill (leaves/flowers)

Fresh: Leaves – store in fridge in a plastic bag or stems in a jar of water, covered with a plastic bag, on the middle or bottom shelf of fridge. You can also rinse, then place leaves and small stems on a towel, wrapping them up gently and storing in fridge. Flowers – store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Leaves – Rinse, blot dry, chop finely, put from 1 t to 1 T each in ice cube, fill with water, freeze, remove frozen cubes, package. Can also chop finely and tray pack. Can wrap leaves in plastic wrap and put into a freezer bag. Can make a purée of dill leaves and oil, then pack in a rigid container with a thin layer of oil on top, or freeze in ice cube trays, removing frozen cubes and packing. Flowers – Dip in water to rinse, dry well, pack in rigid containers to freeze.

Edamame

Fresh: Remove pods from branches. Store pods in fridge in a plastic bag. Store shelled beans in an airtight container or a plastic bag in fridge.

Freeze: Wash pods, blanch pods 2 – 3 minutes, ice water bath cool, drain. If freezing pods, drain and dry, then dry or tray pack. To freeze beans, shell cooled pods, then dry or tray pack. (I have also frozen pods without blanching, to no discernible loss of quality.)

Eggplant

Fresh: Best stored on a counter in a cool room or in a paper bag in a less-cold zone of the fridge. Cold-sensitive, can develop surface pits and brown spots if stored at too cold a temperature. Use while stem and cap are still greenish and fresh looking.

Freeze: If going to be used for frying, cut into 1/3″ wide slices, otherwise dice or cut into strips. To prevent browning while prepping, put pieces in a a brine -4 t salt to 1 gallon water or 4 1/2 t citric acid or 1/2 c lemon juice. Blanch slices 4 minutes, dice or strips 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool. Tray pack slices then stack between sheets of freezer paper for easy removal. Dice or strips can be dry or tray packed.

Endive

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag lined with a paper towel.

Freeze: Separate leaves, chop or not. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Escarole

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag lined with a paper towel.

Freeze: Separate leaves, chop or not. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Fava Beans

Fresh: Store pods in fridge in a plastic bag. Store shelled beans in fridge in an air-tight container.

Freeze: Remove beans from pod. Blanch 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain. Either peel membrane surrounding bean or leave on. If leaving on, dry, then dry or tray pack. For naked beans, dry or tray pack. Before cooking beans that were frozen with membrane left on, peel membrane first.

Fennel

Fresh: Separate bulb from fronds. Fennel bulb – For a couple of days can be stored on a counter upright in a cup or bowl with water just touching the bottom bulb end. For longer storage, store in fridge in a plastic bag or in a closed container with a little water on the bottom of the container. Fennel fronds – Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Fennel bulb – Trim, pull away and discolored parts. Slice or chop. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry. Dry or tray pack. Fennel fronds – Separate dill-like leaves from larger stems. Chop finely, put 1 t – 1 T into ice cube trays, fill with water, freeze, then remove frozen cubes and package for long-term freezing. Or chop finely or leave whole sections and tray pack.

Frisée

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag lined with a paper towel.

Freeze: Separate leaves, chop or not. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Green and Yellow Beans

Fresh: Don’t wash before storing. Don’t snap off ends until ready to use. Store in fridge in a moderate zone in a plastic bag or closed container.

Freeze: Sort by size, trim (tip and tail). Leave whole, cut into 1″ – 2″ pieces, or slice lengthwise. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, dry or tray pack.

Japanese Turnips

Fresh: Store roots in fridge in a plastic bag or in an open container with a damp cloth covering them.

Freeze: No need to peel. Trim any discolored bits. Slice into rounds, julienne or dice. Blanch 2 – 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, dry pack or tray pack.

Japanese Turnip Greens

Fresh: Separate greens from roots. Remove elastic band(s). Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Chop or not. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Kale (Curly Green/Curly Red/Dino or Lacinato/Red Russian)

Fresh: For a few days can keep in a jar of water on counter or in fridge. In fridge in a plastic bag with a damp towel.

Freeze: Stem if necessary. Chop or not. Red Russian and Dino Kale: Blanch 2 minutes. Curly varieties: Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Kohlrabi

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Peel. Slice, julienne or dice. Can leave whole if not large, though still peel. Blanch pieces 1 minute, whole 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, then dry pack or tray pack. Whole kohlrabi should be tray packed.

Komatsuna

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag lined with a paper towel.

Freeze: Chop or not. Blanch 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Leeks

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in an open container, leeks wrapped in a damp towel. For very short term storage, can put stems in a cup of water on counter (just very bottom of stems in water).

Freeze: Separate dark green tops from white and light green parts. Wash leeks well, splitting to make sure there’s no grit between layers. Either blanch 2 minutes or not (anecdotal reports that blanched leeks are mushy when thawed). If not blanching, make sure leeks are very dry before packing and freezing. If blanching, ice water bath cool, drain, and dry. Either dry pack or tray pack. Use frozen or thawed. Dark green tops: Can be used for broth or stocks. Wash, drain, dry, pack. No need to thaw before using.

Lettuces

Fresh: Wash or not before storing. Unwashed – Keep in fridge in a plastic bag or airtight container with a damp towel.
Washed – Dry very well and store in a plastic bag or salad spinner, with a towel to absorb moisture.

Freeze: Not recommended.

Mizuna

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag lined with a towel.

Freeze: Chop or not. Blanch 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Mustard Greens

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag lined with a towel.

Freeze: Chop or not. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Nettles

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag in a moderate zone of fridge.

Frozen: Chop finely. Put between 1 t and 1 T each in ice cube trays. Cover with water. Freeze. Remove frozen cubes and pack. Or make a purée of nettle and oil. Put in a rigid container with a thin layer of oil over top of purée. Or tray pack whole leaves, wrap in plastic, then put in a freezer bag.

Onions (Yellow, Red, Sweet)

Fresh: Do not refrigerate. Store in an open paper bag, open mesh bag or basket in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated area (40º-50ºF). Can keep for a week or so in an open basket on the counter.vDo not store with or near potatoes or other vegetables. Cut onions, if tightly wrapped, can be refrigerated briefly; keep away from other produce.

Freeze: Blanch or not. Peel, then slice, dice or leave whole. Blanch 2 1/2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, then dry pack or tray pack. You can also freeze the peels. Dry pack. Use frozen in broths and stocks.

Oregano

Fresh: Hardier than basil and cilantro. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or stems in a jar of water with a plastic bag loosely covering the jar. Can also store in a jar of water on the counter for a few days.

Frozen: Chop finely. Put between 1 t and 1 T each in ice cube trays. Cover with water. Freeze. Remove frozen cubes and pack. Or make a purée of oregano and oil. Put in a rigid container with a thin layer of oil over top of purée. Or tray pack whole leaves, wrap in plastic, then put in a freezer bag.

Parsley

Fresh: Hardier than basil and cilantro. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or stems in a jar of water with a plastic bag loosely covering the jar. Can also store in a jar of water on the counter for a few days.

Freeze: Separate leaves from large stems. Chop finely. Put between 1 t and 1 T each in ice cube trays. Cover with water. Freeze. Remove frozen cubes and pack. Or make a purée of parsley and oil. Put in a rigid container with a thin layer of oil over top of purée. Or tray pack whole leaves, wrap in plastic, then put in a freezer bag. Can also freeze large stems for adding to broths or stocks, or for making Parsley Tonic (see recipe blog).

Parsnips

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag, with a damp towel if you like or in an open container covered with a damp cloth.

Frozen: Choose smaller parsnips. Wash, peel if large. May also want to remove woody core if large. Slice, dice or julienne. Blanch sliced or diced 3 minutes, julienne, 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry. Dry pack or tray pack.

Peas

Fresh: Use as quickly as possible, as the sugar in peas quickly begins to turn to starch, even while refrigerated.
Store pods in fridge loosely packed in a plastic bag or in a covered container. Store shelled peas in fridge in a covered container.

Freeze: Shell peas. Blanch 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry. Dry or Track Pack.

Peppers – Hot (Jalapeño, Cayenne)

Fresh: Cold-sensitive. Leave whole. Can keep in a cool room for a few days in an open plastic bag or a bowl. Store in fridge in a plastic bag in warmer parts of fridge.

Freeze: Do not need to be blanched before freezing. Wash, remove stem. If you like you can cut the peppers in half and remove seeds and membranes, which is where most of the heat resides. Tray pack is best as this will allow individual peppers to be removed. Be sure, when removing one or two peppers from a frozen package, to try to take out as much air as you can from the package before putting back in freezer.

Peppers -Sweet (Red/Green)

Fresh: Cold-sensitive. Don’t wash before storing, but wipe clean. Can keep for a few days in a cool room otherwise refrigerate. Store in fridge in a plastic bag in warmer parts of fridge.

Freeze: Can be frozen blanched or unblanched. Blanch for use in cooked dishes, unblanched for use in salads or uncooked dishes. Wash, cut in half, remove stem, seeds and membranes. Keep halves or cut up according to intended use. Blanch halves 3 minutes, smaller pieces 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry. Dry pack or tray pack. For unblanched, dry pack or tray pack, though tray pack is better for thawing of individual pieces.

Perpetual Spinach

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag with a paper towel. Can also put stems in a jar of water on counter or in fridge.

Freeze: Remove stems from leaves if you like. Chop or not. Blanch leaves 2 – 2 1/2 minutes, stems, 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Potatoes (Kennebec/Russet/Red/Yellow Finn/Fingerling)

Fresh: Do not refrigerate, except for new potatoes which are immature and have thin skins. Store in an open paper bag or a box in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Do not store exposed to light, which causes greening (solanine, a toxin); cut away any green parts before using.

Freeze: Wash, cut away any green spots, and peel. Cut into 1/4″ – 1/2″ dice, though small potatoes can be left whole. Blanch dice for about 4 minutes, small whole potatoes, 6 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry.  Dry pack or tray pack. For hash browns: cook in jackets until almost done. Cool, peel, grate, form into desired shapes, tray pack, then package and freeze, perhaps with freezer paper between each shape. Reheat frozen shapes in oven until golden and heated through. For fries: Peel and cut into fry shapes. Rinse, pat dry, deep fry 4 minutes or in a 450°F oven until just brown. Cook quickly in fridge. Tray pack. To serve, deep fry or oven fry frozen fries again until golden and crisp.

Radicchio

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in an open container covered with a damp towel.

Frozen: Not recommended.

Radishes – Summer (French Breakfast/Easter Egg)

Fresh: Cold-sensitive. Ttrim tap roots before storing. Store in a plastic bag or in an open container covered with a damp towel in warmer parts of fridge.

Freeze: Not recommended.

Radish Greens

Fresh: Separate greens from roots. Remove elastic band(s). Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Chop or not. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Radishes – Winter (Daikon/Green Meat/Watermelon/Black)

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or an open container covered with a damp cloth in colder parts of the fridge.

Freeze: Not recommended. If you decide to freeze, wash, peel, slice, dice or julienne. Blanch 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry. Dry pack or tray pack.

Rosemary

Fresh: More hardy than basil or cilantro. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or stems in a jar of water in the fridge.

Freeze: Separate leaves from stems, except for thin, non-woody stems. Finely chop. Put between 1 t and 1 T each in ice cube trays. Cover with water. Freeze. Remove frozen cubes and pack. Or tray pack whole leaves, wrap in plastic, then put in a freezer bag. Or tray pack, with or without stems, whole or chopped. Wrap in plastic before putting in a freezer bag or vacuum seal. Another method is to freeze stems with leaves on in a plastic bag until frozen, then take bag out and run a rolling pin over bag. The leaves should fall off. Remove leaves and repack.

Sage

Fresh: More hardy than basil or cilantro. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in a jar of water in the fridge with a plastic bag covering it all.

Freeze: Remove leaves from stems. Finely chop. Put between 1 t and 1 T each in ice cube trays. Cover with water. Freeze. Remove frozen cubes and pack. Or tray pack leaves, then wrap in plastic and put in a freezer bag or vacuum seal. Or, lay out a long sheet of parchment or wax paper. Put dry leaves in a row, fold over, repeat until you’ve used all the leaves or used up the sheet of paper. Secure ends, put into a freezer bag or vacuum seal.

Scallions (Green Onions)

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag.

Freeze: Freeze without blanching. Chop or slice, tray pack, then package.

Spinach

Fresh: Likes cold. Store in a plastic bag lined with a paper towel in colder parts of the fridge.

Freeze: Remove large stems or not. Chop or not. Blanch young leaves 1 1/2 minutes, mature leaves 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Squash – Summer (Zucchini/Yellow)

Fresh: Susceptible to chilling injuries. Don’t wash before storage, wipe clean. Does fines if left out on a cool counter, whole or cut, for a few days. (Wrap if cut to prevent browning of flesh.) For longer storage, store in fridge in a plastic bag or wrap in a towel in warmer parts of the fridge.

Freeze: Wash, trim, slice into rounds, dice or julienne. Blanche 2 – 3 minutes, depending on size of pieces and age of squash. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry. Dry pack. For grated zucchini/summer squash: Grate unpeeled. Blanch 1 – 2 minutes in small quantities in a fine mesh colander or strainer until translucent. Ice water bath cool, squash still in colander. Drain, then dry in a towel (not terrycloth), pressing to remove liquid. Package. If watery when thawed, allow to drain before using, if necessary. Also, see recipe ‘Zucchini Soup Base’ in recipe blog.

Squash – Winter (Acorn/Buttercup/Butternut/Confection/Delicata/Kabocha/Pumpkin/Pie Pumpkin/Red Kuri/Sweet Dumpling/Spaghetti)

Fresh: Do not refrigerate as refrigeration is too humid an environment for whole squash, though cut squash pieces can be refrigerated (remove seeds and fibrous strands) if well wrapped. Best stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area in a basket or a box with holes.

Freeze: Cook until tender, according to you preferred method, either whole (pierced first) or in pieces. Cool, remove seeds and fibrous strands if necessary. Purée if you like or cut or leave in pieces. Dry pack.

Swiss Chard

Fresh: Can put stems in a jar of water and keep on the counter for a few days, or longer in fridge with a plastic bag over all. Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in an open container with a cloth covering it.

Freeze: Separate large stems from leaves. Keep separate for blanching. Chop or not, though stems are better chopped up. Blanch leaves 2 minutes, stems 3 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, squeeze moisture from leaves, dry. Dry pack, either together or separately, depending on intended use.

Tarragon

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or with stems in a jar of water with a plastic bag over it, in warmer areas of fridge.

Freeze: Finely chop. Put between 1 t and 1 T each in ice cube trays. Cover with water. Freeze. Remove frozen cubes and pack. Or tray pack leaves, then wrap in plastic and put in a freezer bag or vacuum seal.

Tat Soi

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in an open container covered with a towel.

Freeze: No need to separate stems from leaves. Chop or not. Blanch 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, dry, squeeze moisture out. Dry pack.

Thyme

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag in cooler parts of fridge.

Freeze: Rinse, dry well, wrap sprigs with leaves attached in plastic than put in a freezer bag or vacuum seal. Remove sprigs as needed, leaves should fall of easily. Or, after a few weeks in the freezer, remove bag of thyme, run a rolling pin over the leaves. Leaves should come off easily in the bag. Remove stems and compost or save for broth/stock. Refreeze leaves. Or, tray pack fresh sprigs, remove leaves or not, and package.

Tomatillos

Fresh: Keep in husk until ready to use. Can keep like onions on counter in an open basket for a week or so. If you see mold on husks, remove husks, wash tomatillos, dry, and put in a plastic bag in the fridge. For longer storage, store unhusked tomatillos in a paper bag or in an open container covered with a towel in the fridge.

Freeze: Remove husks, wash well to get rid of sticky residue and dry. Tray pack. Can also purée and freeze, raw or roasted.

Tomatoes

Fresh: Only refrigerate over-ripe tomatoes that you want to keep from ripening further, but it’s better to  just eat them. Refrigerating tomatoes affects their flavor and they become overly soft and mealy. Wipe clean and store at room temperature away from sunlight.To hasten ripening of under-ripe tomatoes put them in a paper bag with an apple or ripe banana. Unripe tomatoes can also be individually wrapped in paper (newspaper, for example) and stored in a basket or box at room temperature until they ripen. Cut tomatoes can be refrigerated but you can also put them in a bowl covered with a plate or plastic wrap for a day.

Freeze: Tomatoes will become mushy when thawed after freezing so they will only be suitable for cooked dishes or for making juice. You can blanch for 30 seconds to loosen skin, but blanching is not really necessary as skins will come off easily when thawed. Leave whole or cut into pieces and pack. Juice: Either raw, as from a juicer or run through a tomato press or cooked. To cook for juice, cut into pieces, simmer 5 – 10 minutes, press though a sieve, cool, package. Leave a 1/2″ headspace, especially if packing in rigid freezer containers. Stewed: Remove stem ends, peel, quarter, and cook until tender, 10 – 20 minutes. Cool, package. Leave 1/2″ headspace. Tomato sauce, purée, ketchup, salsas: can be frozen for purée pack, leaving headspace. Green Tomatoes: Can be frozen, unblanched, either whole or sliced. If you’re going to fry the slices down the road, put freezer paper between the slices for easy removal.

Turnips

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in an open container covered with a damp towel.

Freeze: Wash, peel if skins are tough, slice or dice. Blanch 2 – 3 minutes, ice water bath cool, drain, dry, pack. Can also cook, then mash and purée pack.

Vitamin Greens

Fresh: Store in fridge in a plastic bag or in an open container covered with a damp towel.

Freeze: Remove stems if you wish. Chop or not. Blanch 2 minutes. Ice water bath cool, drain, squeeze moisture from leaves, dry. Dry pack,