How to Blanch Vegetables
What is blanching and why should we do it? We asked Jen Pomeroy from The Modern Mess to teach us…
Blanching is a technique where you drop vegetables into boiling water to partially cook them, set and retain the colour and texture, they are then plunged into iced water to stop the cooking process.
You can use blanching for preparing vegetables in advance for salads or quick stir fries, for preparing them for the freezer or in some instances to remove the skin. The blanching times vary depending on what you want to do with the vegetables. Cook them until just tender for salads and stir fries and leave them slightly under cooked if you are going to freeze them.
How to blanch vegetables
Cut the vegetables in even size pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and season generously with salt. About 2-3 T. The salt sets the colour in the vegetables and seasons them through.
Ideally blanch the vegetables in batches so the water stays boiling.
Broccoli takes about 1 minutes, green beans around 2 minutes, leafy greens only take about 30 seconds. Halved brussel sprouts take about 2 minutes.
You want the vegetables just tender.
The key once they are cooked is to plunge them into iced water to stop them cooking. Once the vegetables are cool, drain them well and repeat.
You’ll need to squeeze the liquid out of any leafy greens.
Blanched vegetables can be added to salads or stir fries, reheated in boiling water or packed into bags or containers and frozen.
Words & Images: Jen Pomeroy
Jen Pomeroy is a chef living in North Canterbury and she owns a recipe subscription called The Modern Mess. Jen writes three new seasonal recipes a week and publishes them to her website for members. There are over 850 recipes on the site to choose from, as well as tricks and tips for becoming a better home cook and how to get organised in the kitchen.
View Jen’s website here