Spring is here and the bounty of local produce here in Monterey County is available in abundance. I am always looking for ways to incorporate fresh vegetables into all of my recipes (even sometimes sneaking some into my baking) and the culinary team at the Portola Hotel provided me with six quick steps to blanch vegetables – it works for beans, carrots, beets, corn, snap peas, squash, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli; you name it PLUS it helps to preserve color and texture.
Chef’s Six Steps to Blanching Veggies
- Bring a pot of water, seasoned with plenty of kosher salt, to a rolling boil
- Have ready a large bowl of ice water (known as an ice bath) and a plate lined with a cloth or paper towel for draining
- Make sure to cut your vegetables in uniform pieces to ensure even cooking
- Add the vegetables to the pot in small batches to maintain a rolling boil. If blanching more than one type of vegetable, blanch each one separately
- Blanch quickly and do not overcook. Start checking for doneness after thirty seconds by taking a piece, dipping it in the ice bath and then tasting. Keep tasting every 30-60 seconds until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. Most vegetables take between 2-5 minutes.
- Make sure to drain the vegetables well before serving, adding to another recipe or freezing for future use
Stop by the Wharf Marketplace in Monterey to pick up fresh spring vegetables, locally caught seafood, Monterey County wine and beer and much more! It is a one stop shop for the bounty of Monterey County.