Blanching Green Vegetables
Blanching green vegetables brings out a vibrant bright green color and lets it stay that way much longer than without blanching.
Cruciferous vegetables will eventually lose the vibrant green, but will usually last through the meal. Blanching is also helpful when planning a dinner ahead or preparing food for the week and can be done 1–3 days ahead. Green beans, broccoli, leafy greens all do well with the blanching technique.
Par-cooking is done the same way, but the vegetables are boiled a little longer. Par-cooking is useful when you just want to heat through when the rest of the dinner is ready. The only thing that changes between blanching and par-cooking is the amount of time to submerge vegetables in the boiling water. When you are ready, you can eat them as is or heat through up with the desired flavors for your dish.
Vegetables with their natural vibrant colors are much more appealing and more likely to be enjoyed. Blanching even works when you roast or grill after. In this scenario you get the best of both worlds. The blanching will get the pretty vibrant green and the roasting or grilling will caramelize a little bringing out the sweetness and nuttiness of vegetables. Blanched and par-cooked vegetables topped with pesto or drizzled with a citrus dressing make for a great side dish.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- stock pot or large (5-8qt) Dutch Oven
- salad spinner
- lint-free towel
- chef knife
- cutting board