Quick Answer : Can You Freeze Escarole?
You can freeze escarole and preserve it for extended periods without compromising its taste and flavor. Escarole is a green leafy vegetable resembling lettuce and other greens. Generally, escarole is a critical ingredient in Italian cuisine. If you have tasted Italian food before, you would have come across escarole in various recipes like pasta, stews, soups, and salads. Escarole has excellent nutritional value, but it has a bitter taste. Yes. Blanching can reduce bitterness, but do you know that you can freeze escarole without blanching it? So, let us learn how to freeze escarole with and without blanching.
How Do You Freeze Escarole?
Usually, blanching is essential to retain the green vegetable’s color and flavor after freezing. However, it is possible to freeze escarole without blanching.
Freezing Escarole Without Blanching
Blanching leafy greens before freezing is normal. But, let us see how to freeze escarole without blanching.
- Pre-freezing escarole is the best way to initiate the freezing process without blanching it. Line a baking tray with either wax or parchment paper and place the escarole. Space out the escarole properly so that they look spread out evenly. The wax paper prevents the escarole from sticking to the baking tray during pre-freezing.
- Push the baking tray with the escarole into the freezer and let it freeze for three hours.
- The escarole should have frozen solid by this time. Therefore, you can remove them and prepare them for further freezing.
- Pack the escaroles in freezer-safe ziplock bags. They are preferable to airtight containers because they save space. Besides, removing excess air from ziplock bags is more manageable than using plastic containers.
- Vacuum-sealing is ideal because it ensures the complete removal of air from these bags. Alternatively, you can use the straw method to suck the air out. The primary objective is to prevent the freezing escarole from coming in contact with the cool air and the humidity inside the freezer.
- Note the freezing date and the contents on a label. Stick the label to these ziplock bags and place them inside the freezer. We suggest keeping the bags securely inside the freezer. Please keep the heavier objects and other foods away from the escarole to prevent them from getting crushed.
Freezing Escarole By Blanching
Blanching escarole before freezing is the traditional preservation method. While pre-freezing the escarole is an equally effective freezing technique, blanching ensures to remove the escarole’s bitterness.
- Blanch the escarole like you do with other green vegetables.
- Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Submerge the escarole into the boiling water using a colander and let it stay for three minutes. Leaving it for a longer duration can start the cooking process.
- Remove the escarole from the water and rise them in a bowl containing iced water.
- Drain the blanched escarole thoroughly and dry them.
- Now, you can start the freezing process as discussed above.
- Pre-freeze the escarole to prevent the leafy greens from sticking together.
- Pack the escarole in ziplock bags and expel excess air from them.
- Seal the bags well after noting the freezing date.
- Place the ziplock bags deep into the freezer, allowing the escarole to freeze well.
How Long Can Escarole Remain Frozen Without Compromising Its Taste And Flavor?
If you follow the appropriate freezing methods, frozen escarole can retain its taste and flavor for six months. First, it includes blanching and pre-freezing. Secondly, preventing air and humidity exposure is crucial to maintaining its taste and flavor.
Can You Refrigerate Escarole?
Yes. You can refrigerate escarole and maintain its freshness for four to five days. However, freezing is the ideal preservation mode if you wish to preserve them longer.
We suggest storing the unwashed escarole with a damp paper towel in a perforated plastic bag. It is better to change the towel frequently. This method enables you to keep the leafy greens for a week.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Escarole?
You can defrost escarole in two ways, depending on the time available at your disposal. Ideally, you defrost the frozen escarole in the refrigerator by transferring them from the freezer to the fridge overnight. The temperature difference allows the leafy greens to thaw naturally. The process is time-consuming but is the best for defrosting green vegetables.
Alternatively, you can leave the frozen escarole on the kitchen countertop to defrost at room temperature. The escarole should thaw in an hour or two. However, we recommend consuming the escarole immediately to prevent it from getting spoilt.
Can You Refreeze Escarole?
We do not advise refreezing escarole because the moisture collected during the freezing process can melt and make the vegetable soggy. In addition, freezing it again can spoil the green vegetable, make it lose its texture, and become unpalatable.
Can You Freeze Escarole Soup?
You can freeze escarole soup. However, please ensure to prevent air exposure. Otherwise, the soup can get spoilt. Therefore, we suggest packing the escarole soup in airtight plastic containers or resealable ziplock bags after expelling excess air. The soups remain frozen for three months without losing their taste.
Can You Freeze Escarole And Bean Soup?
Yes. It is possible to freeze escarole and bean soup the way described above. The key to preserving them well is avoiding exposure to air or moisture in the freezer. You can freeze escarole and bean soup to last for three months.
Should We Freeze Entire Soup Batch Or In Consumable Portions?
You can freeze the entire escarole soup batch or consumable portions according to individual preferences. However, it is better to freeze the soup in consumable parts for convenience because you cannot refreeze escarole.
Can You Freeze Cooked Escarole?
Yes. It is possible to freeze cooked escarole. However, we always suggest undercooking them if you wish to freeze them for later consumption. Cooked escarole does not last as long as blanched escarole.
Can You Freeze Fresh Escarole?
Yes. We have discussed the procedure for freezing fresh escarole using the pre-freezing method. So, it is possible to freeze fresh escarole.
Escarole is a crucial ingredient in various Italian recipes. While it tastes great with soups and salad, it is possible you could have a large batch of escarole at home. Preserving escarole should not be an issue because you can freeze escarole in different ways.