This time of year nature is abundant with fresh, nutritive dense greens in many shapes and forms. All around, flowers are blooming, and whilst the garden is still warming up, many plants in the wild are at the perfect time of harvest. We enjoy eating meadow salads again, coloured by spring flowers and young chlorophyll-filled leaves, as well as remineralizing Nettle soups or Hogsweeds gratins for the cooked meals. It’s not hard to find ideas when nature inspires with such a burst of vibrant energy!
And coming out from winter we haven’t forgotten how appreciated these wild greens are at other times of the year, when we cannot find them just around the corner. That’s why we are taking the time to stock up on certain of our favourite greens for some spring-revisiting later on. Hogsweed (Berce en français), Nettels (Ortie en français) and Hedge woundwort (Épiaire de Bois en français) are easy to conserve by freezing. Even if they are not as nutritive after beeing frozen as in fresh condition, it’s still a good compromise that provides a much healthier vegetable base than, for instance, imported greenhouse tomatoes in december.
Before freezing, I find it practical to « blanchir » my greens. I simply wash, and let my leaves take a 1-2 minutes plunge in boiling water, before quickly cooling them of in ice cold water and squeezing them from excess fluid. Then of they go to the freezer, packed in flat blocks, handy to defrost whenever we feel like making a wild meal without going harvesting first.
So, in-between those so longed-for spring salads in the sun, take a cloudy afternoon to prepare for colder days. You will appreciate it later on, I promise.
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Another interesting technique for keeping different kind of vegetables, and even making them richer, is lacto fermentation. I’m currently experimenting on some new recipes and I will share more in another blog post coming soon…