Exit Strategies – Or What to Do with All the Greens

fresh vegetables Polka Dot Hen Produce kale chard
So many greens

Sometimes you have a lot of leaves to deal with. Maybe you went a little nuts at the farmers’ market, or your garden is really pumping. Or maybe that gal who runs your CSA just won’t stop with the kale already.

What are you going to do?

Trust me, I’ve been there. And I haven’t always been a fan of the green leafy stuff.

Here are a few quick strategies to help you reduce that huge pile of plant matter threatening to spill out of your fridge.

Share with a friend

If you are feeling truly overwhelmed, ask around. Would any of your friends enjoy a gift of fresh greens? You’ve helped make someone happy and you are off the hook. Easy-peasy.


Here are instructions on how to properly blanch and freeze greens. I’m so glad someone else typed that all out. Despite all the instructions, it’s not difficult at all.

Now, you don’t have to have a huge day of processing greens. You can “batch blanch” a few at a time while you’re already in the kitchen preparing supper. Use the boiling pasta water (before adding the pasta) to blanch your greens. Remove your greens to the ice bath and return to cooking your pasta.

Some people like to freeze greens in muffin tins to make pucks. I tried it once. It was a lot of work to get the pucks out of the tins, but maybe you’ll have better luck. Here’s an idea for blanched and squeezed greens – avoid the muffin tin altogether!


Make Pesto

This link to How to Make Pesto from Anything pretty much says it all. I can attest that arugula pesto is fab as is garlic scape pesto.


Make a Green Wrap

This isn’t going to work for every leaf, but large leaves like collard greens can be a great replacement for bread. You may want to blanch thick leaves to soften them a bit. Here’s a little tutorial on making sandwich wraps with greens.

Add Greens to Everything

Slice those greens thin and tuck them into sandwiches and omelettes, or throw them on pizza in the last few minutes of baking. Also you can add greens to just about any soup, stew, pasta sauce, stir-fry or curry (even if the recipe doesn’t call for them!) The longer you cook the greens, the more they will disappear if you are trying to pull a fast one on your diners.