Bagrada bugs threatened the survival of broccoli a few months ago when the weather continued to be warm. Diatomaceous earth was applied; but I know it was the onset of cooler weather that really brought them down. Today, about a dozen heads were harvested with only one looking sickly (translation: compost bin). More is left to be harvested another day. This cold, foggy day is reserved for freezing the broccoli.
Before freezing, the broccoli needs to be blanched. Blanching helps green vegetables stay green and not turn brown. Gross.
1. Start a pot of water to boil. (I used a pasta pot to easily remove the hot broccoli.)
2. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
3. Rinse broccoli to remove any debris.
4. Cut flowerettes from stalks.
5. Add a pinch of baking soda to the pot of boiling water. This punches up the green color.
6. Place flowerettes in the boiling water for 2 minutes.
7. Remove flowerettes from boiling water and place in ice water for 2 minutes.
8. Remove flowerettes from ice water and place on a towel.
9. Place cooled flowerettes on wax paper lined cookie sheet.
10. Place cookie sheet in freezer 30-60 minutes.
11. Put broccoli in labeled freezer bags.
When fresh, cooked broccoli is needed, remove from bag and use. Only a brief heating time is required. Use steamed, stir fry, or casseroles. Blanched broccoli just won't work for Super Bowl dips.