Green Vegetables--Who Blanches In Salt Water?

For the last 4-5 years, if I have time, I almost always blanch my green vegetables in highly salted water, stop the cooking with an icebath, and then proceed to cook them. I think the dishes end up being more vibrant in color, and I’ve never thought the blanched veggies took on too much salt.

Who else does this and how?

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Yup. 30 sec for most. Ice bath. Then continue cooking process.

Isn’t that common knowledge / cooking 101?

I do the same, but I don’t think I’d say my water is heavily salted (about 1% - the same for pasta).

Not always but it is by far the superior that way for the reasons you mention especially with green beans. It is also nice because it works well prepping for a large meal. I cook as you do and then warm up quickly in a pan with a little butter. With green beans I top with nuts and/or sautéed mushrooms, maybe a little lemon. A friend had eaten them at my house a few times and tried to replicate them at home with little success. He intently watched me do it once and when we got to the table, he asked me what my secret was. I explained blanching to him. From where he usually sat, when I cooked, he could not see well enough to notice that they were not raw when I put them in the pan. A few people have mentioned to me how they don’t normally like vegetables but like mine. They are just overcooking them and blanching really helps with that. It might also be the salt flavor getting deeper into the vegetable but I don’t notice them being particularly salty. Some vegetables are great cooked the long method but that’s a whole other topic.


Maybe around here, but IME it isn’t a widely used technique. Maybe more like 201 or 301?


No. I have not tried salt water yet. I have however tried sodium bicarbonate to more quickly breakdown the vegetables therefore cook in a short time. The color is more vibrant because of the shorter time.


Not salt.

But I do blanch certain vegetables (like gai lan) in water with a bit of vegetable oil. Not only does it make the vegetables vibrantly green, but provides a nice sheen.


A Jacques Pepin Julia Child debate.


I salt the cold water the vegetables are washed in, then blanche /boil them in unsalted water.

But you are posting here, on a food forum.

I don’t think of myself as doing it routinely.

Maybe green beans, sugar snaps peas, asparagus, if I’m going to stir fry or serve cold. Also not broccoli I am roasting, not cabbage, not chard (which I might steam first, then chill). … L guess not leafy greens.

Nope; not routinely, but maybe I don’t cook green veg routinely.


Blanching used to be Home Ec 101, but of course, there’s no Home Ec anymore.

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I do it when I want the veggies crisp and very green in the final dish, which I do not want most of the time. I am of the Italian countryside approach to veggies, cook them to develop all their flavor. If I want raw veggies, then I eat raw.

I also blanche when I am making a huge crudite-type platter. I find taking the raw edge off and fixing and intensifying the colors really makes the platter pop visually and flavorwise.


^ Me too.

That said, I have never given thought to blanching green veg when I’m cooking for more people than my husband and me. When cooking for two, it’s easy enough for me to serve the veg immediately when they reach the desired doneness.

Blanch + quick reheat with a bit of oil or butter could come in handy when I’m preparing multiple dishes for more than just us.

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Yes, this is a food board, and yet we’re finding that salt water blanching isn’t a universal or Cooking 101 practice here.

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Or Driver’s Ed, either. Are there still shop and FFA classes taught anywhere?

Of the school honors I’ve received, I’m proudest of winning the Betty Crocker Homemaker thing.

Because it is a very Euro-centric point of view with respect to culinary practices.


it’s a known technique.
it’s something I consider/do when ‘putting on the dog’ for company / special occasions.
it ‘works’ in those kind of situations because generally the rest of the prep is longer&time-minger consuming - so blanching green veggies for color retention does not make a big impact . . . at least for me . . .

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I blanche asparagus and green beans, sometimes snap peas. I usually blanche them in my chef’s pan, drain, and throw them right into the same pan with oil/shallot/whatever.

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Blanching is a Euro-centric practice? I did not know that! I guess I learned something.