Add Blanched Broccoli as a simple, convenient side to any meal. Give green veggies a light hand when exposing them to heat. Here’s how to do it right… bright green, al dente and delicious.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Prepare the ice bath in a 3-quart bowl; position near the stove.||An ice bath is for “shocking” (stopping cooking precisely).|
||For the blanching water, in a 5-quart tri-ply stockpot set over high heat, bring water and salt to a rolling boil (6-8 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare broccoli.||Preheated water shortens cooking time, protecting vegetable color and texture.|
||Load 1 cup into a blanching basket (an inexpensive mesh strainer with the handle bent upward works well). Plunge into boiling water just until broccoli turns bright green, 10-15 seconds for florets, 20-30 seconds for stems.
Tip: Cut florets from stems where they become multi-branched; divide into bite-sized pieces. Cut out and discard damaged/tough stem parts; cut lengthwise into ½-inch slices (as for French fries). Cut across slices to cube.
|Overloading drops water below the boiling point, extending the cooking time, hurting vegetable color and texture.|
|Promptly lift and vigorously shake the basket to strain; toss broccoli into the ice bath.||Cooling quickly prevents overcooking.|
|Repeat the blanching and ice bath process with remaining broccoli. After adding the final batch to bath, wait 1-2 minutes; pour off any ice cubes. Strain thoroughly. If not serving directly, refrigerate in a sealed container for a convenient snack or side dish.||Pouring off the ice is an efficient separation method. Otherwise, ice cubes get mixed up with the broccoli and must be picked out.|