Blanching Vegetables

Article by: Allrecipes staff  |  Picture by: MOLLE888
Blanching Vegetables
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Blanching allows you to partially cook vegetables and cool them quickly so they retain their crunch. Blanched vegetables are great for salads, pasta salads and as finger food with dips.

Prepare a pot of salted, boiling water and an ice bath (a bowl full of ice and water). The salt will permeate the outer walls of the vegetable being blanched and enhance the flavours. If you would rather not use salt, plain boiling water is fine.
Place your vegetables a few at a time into the boiling water, being careful not to crowd them. Keep the water at a consistent boil. Test the vegetables after a minute or so; green beans should be crisp, yet cooked. To test larger vegetables like broccoli, insert a small sharp knife into the thick part of the stem. If the broccoli clings to the knife, it needs more time. If the knife slides in and out easily, the broccoli is ready to be shocked in the ice bath.
Once the veggies are cooked to your liking quickly remove them from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice bath (this is called 'shocking'). Immersing the vegetables in ice water will halt the cooking process completely.
Keep the vegetables in the ice water long enough for them to cool completely, then drain them well. If you remove the vegetables from the ice bath before they finish cooling, they will continue to cook from the inside out resulting in a mushy finished product.
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  • this process is very easy and saves you a lot of money.
    Posted: 11 Oct 2012 Easy

    Comment: beetee

    i have been/bean ( scuse the pun ) freezing excess french runner beans for years now by simply slicing and bagging, no blanching , before freezing and they seem to taste OK well into the new year. I guess i should do a trial by blanching some to see the difference . Never have enough of rest of garden crop to freeze so cant say it works for all , especially chunkier or dense veg e.g. cauliflower
    Posted: 12 Sep 2011
    • beetee
    • Experienced
    • Newport South Wales, UK
    Thanks - I have a load of green beans and couldn't remember how to prepare them for freezing. This was really helpful
    Posted: 08 Sep 2011 Easy
    • Sarh
    • Intermediate
    • UK


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