You’ve probably seen the term “blanched” or “parboiled” written next to a vegetable in the ingredient list of a recipe. Often there’s no instructions for how to blanch vegetables. Any hard, green vegetable – asparagus, snow peas, sugar snap peas, broad beans, broccoli, shelled peas & such can be blanched. Blanching is required to remove the skins from pickling onions, tomatoes & peaches. Many people do know how to blanch vegetables, but, as some of my friends have mentioned to me, many people don’t know what this common cookery term entails. So just how do you blanch vegetables & why?
Blanching vegetables is done to soften their texture while maintaining crispness. This creates a better mouthfeel of the vegetables in salads, remove the vegetables’ rawness & as a make-ahead element in recipes to save time later. It’s a very easy cookery application.
Carefully plunge the veggies into a pot of boiling water & boil for 30 seconds to 2 minutes until their color brightens & their texture softens a little but still retains crispness.
Then, it’s important to stop the cooking process: so remove the vegetables immediately from the boiling water to a bowl of iced water (an iced water bath). Doing this retains the vegetable’s bright color & stops them cooking any further. After 10 minutes drain the vegetables & pat them dry with a paper towel or leave them on a wire rack or colander to dry for a few minutes. Then they’re ready to use.
Blanched vegetables can be tossed into a salad, a stir-fry, a pan of garlic butter or a casserole (think green beans casserole). I mainly blanch vegetables for a salad. Think nicoise salad or this Tomato & Roman Bean Salad. Or Mint & Walnut Pesto Sugar Snap Pea.
I hope this little cookery application of how to blanch vegetables was helpful. If there’s anything you’d like to know how to master in the kitchen, menu planning, grocery shopping or anything stylist or food related, then drop me a note & let me know. Chat to you soon, Lovoni xo