It’s peppery, firey and, for such a delicate leaf, full of flavour. But the question is can you freeze rocket and will it retain that unique, iconic flavour when frozen?
Can You Freeze Rocket?
Yes, you can freeze rocket for up to 3 months. But it’s not as simple as tossing a bag of rocket directly into the freezer. It is also not recommended that you use frozen rocket in salads or raw dishes.
Does Rocket Freeze Well? Sometimes
Can You Refreeze Rocket? No
How To Freeze Rocket
When it comes to freezing rocket, you’ll want to go down the ice cube route.
But first, give your rocket a good clean, drain and then dry. This will remove any grit and bugs from your rocket. You don’t want to freeze your rocket with grit!
- Pack Into an Ice Cube Tray: Once cleaned, grab an ice cube tray. Ideally, use an ice cube tray with large slots. Pack your rocket into each slot. There’s no need to cut it up. Try to pack it in quite tight but make sure it doesn’t spill out over the top.
- Drizzle with Oil: Pour in a drizzle of olive oil to eat slot so that the rocket is submerged. You will want to allow for some expansion, filling each up around 80% of the way.
- Flash Freeze: Place your tray into the freezer and get those cubes frozen.
- Final Freeze: Once frozen, you can free up some space and your ice cube tray by popping the cubes out of the tray and into a bag to seal for the longer term.
How to Freeze Rocket Pesto
Much like traditional basil pesto, you can freeze rocket pesto too. In fact, the method is the same and very similar to what we have outlined above.
First, you’ll want to knock together a batch of rocket pesto. Combine pine nuts, rocket, parmesan, garlic and olive oil in a pestle and mortar until you have the desired consistency. You may want to season with salt. We would avoid adding black pepper as the rocket is naturally peppery.
Once you’ve made your pesto, it’s time to freeze it.
- Fill an Ice Cube Tray: Grab your trusty ice cube tray and top each slot up with pesto.
- Drizzle with Oil: Add a drizzle of olive oil to eat slot. This will act as a barrier to the air and help to prevent oxidation.
- Freeze: Freeze your cubes of pesto. Once frozen, remove the tray from the freezer and pop the cubes out into a bag and place the bag in the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Rocket
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing rocket to have the best results:
Don’t Eat Raw
Unfortunately, once frozen, rocket will lose a lot of its texture. The flavour will remain, but it will become mushy and not pleasant to eat raw, so avoid using it in a salad.
Make a Pesto
Use the method outlined above to freeze a rocket pesto. It can add instant freshness and pepperiness to a variety of dishes, such as soup.
Mix with Other Greens
Don’t be afraid to mix rocket with other leafy greens such as soft herbs or dandelion greens.
How Long Can You Freeze Rocket?
As you can imagine, rocket is quite delicate. Its soft leaves will slowly degrade in the freezer, which is why we would recommend limiting the time it is in the freezer to 3 months maximum.
It will, of course, be fine to eat beyond this date, but you may find that once thawed, the rocket will be quite soft.
Unfortunately, rocket will begin to wilt soon after being harvested. You’ll find that rocket will keep for around 2 days in the fridge.
How Do You Defrost Rocket?
This comes down to how you plan on using it. If you want to use the rocket to add a hit of pepper to a bowl of vegetables, then you can actually stir the cube of frozen rocket straight into the pan with the vegetables to let it melt.
If you want to use it in a raw dish or as pesto, you’ll need to thaw it beforehand. The easiest way to do this is in the fridge, in a bowl overnight.
Can You Refreeze Rocket?
This is not something we would recommend doing. The texture would degrade hugely if you were to refreeze rocket.
When you refreeze something, you pull moisture out of the food and with that moisture some flavour.
By limiting the number of times you freeze rocket, you reduce the risk of ruining the rocket’s texture and flavour.
Does Rocket Freeze Well?
Yes and no… It all comes down to how you plan on using your rocket. If you want to freeze rocket leaves that you can later use in a salad, raw, then you’ll want to think again.
Unfortunately, rocket leaves will lose some of their texture when frozen and, because of the approach we have used to freeze rocket, they will not be enjoyable when thawed.
However, if you want to make a pesto or if you want to stir it into some other green vegetables, then you’ll get that delicious peppery hit when using frozen rocket. It all comes down to what dish you plan on using the rocket in.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing rocket or rocket in general, then these may help:
No, freezing rocket (or any salad leaves) for salads is not a good idea. They will become increasingly mushy in the freezer. You’ll no longer have crisp rocket leaves for a salad once they are frozen.
Like all pesto varieties, rocket pesto can be frozen for several months. The best approach is to use an ice cube tray to freeze individual portions of rocket pesto.
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