Blanching vegetables by cooking them briefly in boiling water and then chilling them in ice water keeps veggies tender-crisp, colorful, and full of flavor. Try this technique for your next crudite platter, when freezing your food, or whenever you need a head start in the kitchen.
Step 1: Fill pot Fill a large pot with water. Use 1 gallon of water per pound of vegetables.
Step 2: Add salt Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt per quart of water. That translates to ½ cup salt for 1 gallon water. Bring the saltwater to a rapid boil on high heat.
Step 3: Fill bowl Fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside.
TIP: One pound of ice per pound of vegetables is enough.
Step 4: Cook vegetables Wash and trim the vegetables. Place dense, firme vegetables that take longer to cook, such as broccoli, carrots, and brussels sprouts, in the boiling water first, followed by more tender veggies that cook faster, such as green beans, peas, and tender greens.
TIP: Tender greens will be cooked in a matter of seconds, while other vegetables need one to three minutes.
Step 5: Check vegetables Check for doneness after 30 seconds by lifting them out with the slotted spoon, plunging them into the ice water, and tasting them or testing them with a knife. Veggies should be cooked but still crisp.
TIP: Blanching time begins the moment the vegetables hit the boiling water.
Step 6: Put vegetables in ice Scoop the veggies out with a strainer and plunge it into the ice bath to immediately stop the vegetables from further cooking in the steam. Lift the strainer out when the veggies are cool and serve them as crudites with dip or store them in the refrigerator or freezer. To use in your favorite recipes later, gently reheat the veggies by sauteing, grilling, or boiling.
FACT: Famous vegetarians in history include Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Alva Edison.