‘Blanching’ is dropping vegetables into salted boiling water for a short period of time then immediately putting them into cold water. The purpose is to enhance and lock in their natural color. In addition to locking in the brighter color, blanching will also help seal in the flavor and nutrients of vegetables.
Blanched Bright Broccoli
- florets of 1 large bunch of broccoli
- 2 tablespoons butter
Bring 4 quarts of water to boil with 2 teaspoons salt and blanche the florets for until crispy-tender about 3 1/2 minutes. Pour the water with the florets through a strainer and run the florets under very cold water to stop the cooking. If your tap water isn’t real cold, you can also remove the florets from the boiling water with a large slotted spoon and transfer them into a bowl of ice water.
Arrange the florets in a casserole, dot with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut out a piece of waxed paper to fit the casserole and lay it on the vegetables. Seal the casserole with foil. (Up to this point can be done ahead of time and refrigerated, then taken out and brought up to room temperature.) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until butter is melted and the broccoli is hot.