Blanch Those Veggies

16_Pike_Place_Market_greengrocer_vegetable_display This post is for everybody sharing a CSA box of veggies, visiting the local farmer’s market, or starting to harvest their truck garden.

Blanching is a great way to quickly cook up fresh vegetables.  It keeps them firm, crunchy and full of flavor.

Photo by Eric Hunt

Technique:

—Fill the bottom of a skillet with enough water to cover your vegetables (add salt as desired).

—Bring water to a boil.

—Clean and cut vegetables while water is heating.

—Add vegetables to boiling water (not so many that the water losses its boil).

—Only just barely cook the vegetables (e.g. asparagus no more than 3m).

—Traditional: Remove vegetables and immediately submerge in an ice water bath.  Remove from bath when vegetables are cool.  Vegetables can be reheated (not cooked) later using your preferred method (since its summer, reheating on the grill comes to mind).  They can also be frozen for longer storage and reheated when needed.

Note: With this method, you can reuse the water to cook rice or pasta, which will incorporate the vitamins and other good stuff from the vegetable water.

—Shortcut: Take the pan to the sink and rinse with cold water, then serve.  (This is how I do it!)

Blanching is my favorite way to cook asparagus, it is a great way to cook green beans, and cauliflower comes out tasty as well.

Q: What do you do with your extra veggies, when your box or garden runneth over?

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10 responses to “Blanch Those Veggies

  1. Make pasta sauce to freeze! since we grow mostly tomatoes and herbs, this takes care of it.

    • stoffainkorea

      Josie:
      *It is really nice on those nights that you are too tired to whip up a meal from scratch to be able to look in the freezer and see a bag of frozen pasta sauce or vegetarian chile just waiting to be heated up.

      Q: What herbs do you grow? Do you have enough basil to make your own pesto?

      Note: You can make pesto with just about anything…when I don’t have enough basil for a whole batch, I add fresh spinach.

      -Adam

  2. Pingback: Too Many Veggies? Blanch Your Vegetables! « Fit for Feats

  3. My husband and I make a spicy quinoa-cilantro-spinach-corn chowder (which tastes great with any combination of veggies). We add A LOT of vegetables, and freeze the soup in small containers.

    The BROTH: sautee aromatics (garlic, onion, cumin, any hot peppers, and cumin [we toast the whole seeds and grind them to powder for extra flavor]). Add veggie stock.

    The BULK: Add quinoa, scallions, leeks, squash, zucchini, carrots, potatoes… etc. We don’t measure amounts.

    The FINALE: Right before removing from heat, add fresh cilantro, corn kernels, spinach (lots!), lime juice, and loads of feta cheese. This soup tastes amazing with buttered bread. Enjoy!

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