Blanching : Broccoli and Cauliflower

Growing up I enjoyed watching Cartoon Network and I particularly loved the Powerpuff Girls. There was this specific episode where the kids refused to eat broccoli and turns out the broccoli that their parents ate turned them into zombies. Then the City of Townsville was invaded by alien and evil broccoli men. Evidently my memory is pretty good and I think I’ve just revealed my age. Anyway, I think that episode formed some of our opinions on broccoli even though one had never tasted it. Today I’d like to dispel those misconceptions and show you how to make them enjoyable using the blanching technique.


Broccoli and cauliflower get a pretty bad rap, yet they are actually delicious when prepared correctly. Other than eating them raw in salads, one can steam, roast, boil or even stir fry. I enjoy them in quick stir fries or in form of soups.

You can choose to stir fry directly or blanch them first.

Today we’ll focus on blanching.

Blanching is a cooking technique where vegetables are briefly boiled then put in ice water. This technique helps to preserve the texture and colour of the vegetables. Once blanched you can choose to eat as is or even stir fry in some oil prefarably olive oil with garlic and seasoned with salt and black pepper.

The general rule of thumb when blanching is to ensure the vegetables are cut up in uniform pieces to ensure even cooking.

Another thing, it’s best to blanch different vegetables separately since some take shorter times than others.


Start by bringing a good amount of water to a boil and season with salt, once the water is boiled, add in the vegetables. In the case of either broccoli or cauliflower,let them boil for 5 minutes.


After 5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables into ice water. The cold water shocks the vegetables and prevents further cooking, Once the vegetables are cooled, drain off all the water.

At this point, you can stir fry the vegetables in some garlic sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper. The stir fry should just be for a minute or so, just to ensure the vegetables are coated in the sauteed garlic since they are already cooked.


Or if you are the person who can’t eat either broccoli or cauliflower on it’s own you can stir fry it with some peppers and sausages.sausage-broccoli-stir-fry-leotunapika

Whatever the case, this method will always yield crunchy and cooked broccoli and cauliflower.


Blanching also works with french/green beans, carrots, asparagus and many other vegetables.


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