What is Blanching & How to Blanch Vegetables
Blanching essentially means to partially or fully cook foods in boiling water or stock. Items may be refreshed in ice water after being blanched or simply removed and served.
Blanching is used to soften some vegetables for further cooking in another form, i.e. cabbage for cabbage rolls or asparagus for grilling.
Blanching is the ideal way to cook green vegetables and enhances their color and flavor. It can also be used to slightly soften certain foods to facilitate the removal of their skins, i.e. tomatoes and almonds.
How to Blanch Vegetables:
- Fill the pot with water and add a few pinches of salt.
- Place on high heat.
- If the food is to be consumed immediately after blanching skip the following step.
- Half fill a large bowl or pot with ice cubes and add cold water until approx 2/3rds full.
- Once the water is at a rapid boil add the vegetables or whatever foods you are blanching.
- Once the food is cooked to your liking, remove it from the water and immediately place it in the ice water, (this is the stage known as refreshing and arrests the cooking process and locks in the colour and flavour).
- Once the food is cool throughout it can be drained and set aside to be reheated later or eaten as is.
- If blanching root vegetables of any kind, i.e. carrots, it is recommended that you place them in cold water and then place that on high heat until boiling then remove when desired tenderness is achieved.