When much of your diet is low carb and you prepare recipes with lots of vegetables there’s often a great deal of chopping and prep work. Or you eat lots of raw vegetables, especially for appetizers with hummus or other low carb dips. (I admit that can get boring). One way I’ve found to enjoy fresh veggies and have them on hand for snacks and appetizers is to blanch a lot of them at one time.
Actually I’d never blanched a lot of veggies at one time, (I had done a few just for a one time use); then I was invited to a large party and had volunteered to bring hummus and a quantity of veggies. I had had enough of raw veggies for awhile so decided to try blanching them. And it was a revelation! They were so much tastier than the raw–tender, fresh and full of flavor- some crisp, some not so, but still very tasty; (this is a process–there’s a big difference in blanching a few to doing a few pounds). I chose asparagus, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers and bright green pea pods- not only good to eat but good to look at–beautiful!
Blanching means boiling vegetables for a few minutes and then plunging them into ice water; one kind at a time. One trick/method I learned from Cook’s Illustrated is to blanch the darker vegetables last as they can discolor lighter vegetables, (as you use the same pot in turn for all the veggies — details in the TO DO section).
I invite you to blanch a quantity and variety of your favorite veggies–store in the fridge for a week of snacks or serve to your guests and/or family for a delicious, healthful treat.
- 1/2 lb. each of a variety of vegetables (your choice), such as carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, snap peas, red pepper, cauliflower…)
- 1 red and/or yellow pepper
- A large pot to boil the veggies in
- a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water
- A large slotted spoon
- paper towels on a large plate or tray
- EASY TASTY SAUCE:
- 1/3-1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Best Foods, or make your own)
- 1/2 -1 tsp. Siracha (to taste)
- juice of 1/3 lemon
1. Wash (don’t peel); then slice vegetables into matchstick or 2″ long slices; snap asparagus in half.
2. Prepare ice water bath in bowl next to the boiling water
3. Bring water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven
4. Add sliced veggies into the boiling water, starting with the lightest colored vegetables; (make sure the water is boiling for each batch). For example, I started with the cauliflower, then yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, peas, asparagus, red pepper).
5. Boil each batch for 1-2 minutes.
6. Immediately lift out with a large slotted spoon or a sieve and plunge into the ice water for 1-2 minutes. (You’ll most likely need to add ice for each batch as the hot veggies will increase the temperature.)
7. Lift out each batch from the ice water and drain on paper towels.
8. Repeat for each type of vegetable.
9. Mix sauce and let sit for at least 1/2 hour.
10. Refrigerate if not serving right away.