Blanching is a cooking method in which an ingredient is briefly cooked in boiling water and then plunged into an ice bath (aka shocked) to halt the cooking process. This ensures the exact desired level of “done-ness.” When vegetables overcook, they lose their color, flavor, and texture - becoming mushy and bland. Blanching & shocking prevents this from happening and is therefore quite the secret weapon to master!
🧂 Ingredients & Equipment:
Boil a vegetable (or pasta)
When tender, transfer items to ice bath
Rest 1-3 minutes, then drain
Enjoy now or save for later!
📝 Notes, Tips, Tricks
Blanched veggies can be spruced up later in the week with a quick sauté or roast, which makes them ideal for food prep. Blanch to slightly underdone if you plan to cook the item further.
To be extra efficient, re-use the cooking water & ice bath across multiple items. You can combine items with similar cooking times (e.g., Broccoli/Cauliflower, Peas/Corn.)
Here is a handy chart of boiling/cook times by vegetable