Why blanch?

I blanched this weekend for the second time ever, and I for sure will continue to do so.  Blanching (yes a funny word when said over and over again) is a quick and easy cooking technique.  Blanching is AWESOME because it keeps your veggies BRIGHT in color and crisp in texture, and really cuts your actual cooking time in half! After you blanch your veggies you can then quickly saute, or eat them the way they are.  You can add some seasoning like lemon, salt and pepper, or you can store right away and eat the next day or throw them in a fresh salad. Not only does blanching seal the vegetables color, but it also keeps the nutrient content and crispness of the vegetable. How to blanch:

Prep your veggies. Wash. Cut. Do what you would normally do.

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add in  your vegetable.

The amount of time you boil your veggie is key! You do not want to over boil, or else it defeats the whole purpose of blanching. I boiled the asparagus for about 3 minutes. I gave it the "pinch test". I took out an asparagus and made sure it had a little "give" to it. Not too squishy and not too hard, yet still had a nice tenderness to it.

After veggies are cooked you want to take them out with a pair of tongs and immediately place them in a bowl of ice water. The transition from boiling hot to ice cold water will "shock" the vegetable.  Shocking stops the cooking process and preserves the bright color of the veggie. I left my asparagus in the ice water for about 20 minutes. But for the future I think 10 minutes will do.

Final product! Enjoy blanching!

Posted on September 19, 2011 and filed under food.