This has been an AMAZING year for the broccoli in our garden. Usually we barely have enough to eat, certainly not enough to freeze. However, these year the heads are huge and abundant! This is a picture of the bounty from our first cutting (minus the head and a half my mother-in-law saved for them to eat fresh).
Doesn't that just look so good? I wish we had smell-o-vision on here because it smells just divine. Yum!
Anyway, on to freezing. I've never frozen broccoli myself, but I always buy the bags of frozen broccoli florets. They work best for how I typically cook, so I knew I wanted to freeze in a similar fashion. I consulted the Ball Blue Book (my personal preserving Bible) for instructions. This was super easy and I was done in under an hour (including the first 30 minutes of soaking in brine & final dish clean-up!).
First, you chop off all the leaves and woody stems. Cut into manageable pieces that you want to cook with later. Soak in a brine solution for 30 minutes. Rinse.
Spread on cookie sheets (I had enough for 2 cookie sheets!) and freeze. I prefer this method because they are more easily separated than when first put in a bag and then frozen.
Later I'll vacuum seal them using the Food Saver (or you could put them in a freezer Ziploc bag) and they'll be waiting to be transformed into a delicious side dish!