Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Freeze it now... { Chives & Rhubarb }

This year I am making a concerted effort to not only enjoy fresh ingredients as they come in season, but to try and preserve them through canning and freezing so that I can enjoy even the most fleeting of flavors – like rhubarb and ramps – long after they’re gone for the season.

Chives and rhubarb are making their appearance right now at the markets. As it happens, both of these freeze beautifully and are easy to preserve.


Wash and dry fresh chives. Chop* and place in a shallow, freezer-safe container. Freeze and occasionally shake the container to keep the chives loose and separated. There’s no need to defrost them before using – they are chopped so small, they will quickly unthaw. Use frozen chives in quick breads or muffins with cheddar cheese. Remove fresh sweet corn kernels and saute with butter and chopped chives. Add them to scrambled eggs with some goat cheese.

* As an alternative to chopping, you can cut chives into pieces with kitchen shears. I find that it’s easier to chop them in a deep bowl to catch any stray pieces – chives have a way of bouncing everywhere BUT where you want them to go!
Are chive blossoms edible?
Not only do they make a gorgeous centerpiece, but after a little Google research, I found out that chive blossoms are edible too! Try adding them to a salad to add an unexpected chive and slightly peppery flavor.

Wash and dry rhubarb. Cut off top and bottoms of stalk, as necessary (remove and discard leaves entirely as they are poisonous). Cut into 1-inch pieces and freeze in 1- to 2-lb packages – either resealable freezer bags or FoodSaver* bags. Use throughout the year in crisps, pies and compotes.

* I have a FoodSaver that I use for all sorts of preserving, including freezing rhubarb. I also use the FoodSaver to repackage my meat after receiving my monthly meat share. The meat from the farm comes packaged in white butcher paper. I find that by removing the paper and repackaging in FoodSaver bags, it takes up less room in the freezer and lasts a lot longer.