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How to Blanch Vegetables

When you cook hearty, bright green vegetables like green beans, asparagus, or broccoli, the color can dull because of the time they need to be heated to cook through completely. One of the tricks that chefs use to keep green vegetables bright green is a technique called blanching and shocking. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt liberally (it should taste like the ocean).

  2. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water.

  3. Add your vegetables to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until just slightly tender but not completely cooked.

  4. Remove the vegetables from the pot and immediately plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Let sit for 5 minutes.

  5. Drain and dry the vegetables then saute or cook as needed.

By partially cooking the vegetables in the boiling water, you reduce the amount of time needed later on when exposed to direct heat. Also, dropping them while hot into the ice water stops the cooking process and “sets” the color so they stay bright green. If you’re cooking for a party, this is a great technique to get you ahead because you can store the blanched, shocked, and dried vegetables in the fridge for up to 2 days.