Did you know that you can freeze kale? Prior to ever having a reason to know this very useful tidbit, I did not, although, it makes complete sense. Ever purchase frozen spinach? Right.
Freezing kale is quick, easy, and makes your fridge look less full (which was the look I was going for when I decided to do this). I'll use this kale in the late Fall, when I'm ready to make some hearty soups, like a white bean and kale soup. And when I receive the Fall harvest of kale, I'll probably freeze lots of that to make other types of soup during the cold Winter months.
Here's how you do it:
Bring large pot of water to a boil. In another large bowl, make an ice bath (lots of ice and water). Remove large rib from kale, and chop leaves into large pieces. Place kale in boiling water. *If you're going to freeze a large quantity, you'll want to blanch in batches. Bring water back up to a boil (it should take approx 1 minute). Let kale cook for 2 minutes, then immediately remove from the hot water and place in the ice bath.
Once the kale is cold, remove from water and dry on paper towels or dish towels. I like to lay out all the kale, and then roll up the dish towel, pressing the kale and removing as much moisture as I can.
At this point, you can do one of two things:
1. Lay kale out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in freezer. This will freeze each piece individually, thus making it less-likely the kale will clump later when you defrost it. Remove frozen kale from paper, and place in a plastic bag or freezer container.
2. (This is what I did. #1 was just too involved for me.) Remove as much excess liquid as possible (I squeezed bunches of the kale out with my hands), measure into 1 cup portions and place into little fold-over sandwich bags. Then, place little bags into one larger plastic zip-up bag. Freeze.