Last week’s assignment for the cooking course I am taking was all about blanching and parboiling veggies. Never heard of it? Neither had I until last weekend! Turns out I have been overcooking broccoli forever (sorry J and T!). The good news is doing it correctly is a snap. Why worry about overcooking? Important nutrients seep out into the water and are lost the longer veggies cook. It can also give them an unappealing texture and color (maybe part of the reason broccoli repulsed you as a young child?) Below are a few simple steps to get your veggies prepped!
-Cut desired vegetables into even sized pieces. This is important since smaller pieces tend to cook faster than larger ones.
-Bring a pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Make a large bowl of ice water.
-To blanch: Toss veggies in and boil for 1 minute. Remove and place in ice bath. Drain and store in an airtight container. This method works well for steaming on a busy weeknight. They’ll cook in a matter of minutes and dinner will be on the table in no time flat.
-To parboil: Toss veggies in for 3 minutes. Remove and place in ice bath. Store in airtight container. This method works well for stir fry on a busy weeknight. Serve with some prepped rice and you are good to go!
Bonus tip: Blanching brings out the color in veggies and can make your crudite platter pop at parties!