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How to Blanch Asparagus

Updated on April 16, 2013

How to Blanch Asparagus

There are several reasons to blanch asparagus. You may have an abundance of asparagus from your garden and wish to freeze a portion of it for use at a later date. The same may hold true if you bought more asparagus than you can eat before it goes bad.

Some recipes call for blanched asparagus. If a recipe that calls for asparagus does not specify that it should be blanched, you may find it is beneficial to blanch the asparagus at any rate. In that case, add the blanched asparagus to your recipe towards the end of cooking (rather than cooking it with the other vegetables in the recipe). Doing so will help ensure the asparagus maintains an excellent texture.

If you wish to eat asparagus that has been blanched without incorporating it into a recipe, you could simply heat it for a few minutes in an oven.

Whatever your reason for blanching asparagus, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process.

Keep in mind that you can also blanch other vegetables, such as green beans, using the method described below.

This thin asparagus would only need to be boiled for approximately two minutes
This thin asparagus would only need to be boiled for approximately two minutes | Source

How to Make Vegetable Broth

  • Collect the ends of fresh vegetables (that you would otherwise discard) in the freezer until you have enough to fill a large pot (leaving a couple spare inches at the top)
  • Add the vegetable pieces to the pot
  • Cover the vegetables with water, leaving room at the top so it does not boil over, and bring to a boil
  • Boil until the vegetables reduce down to about half
  • Strain the broth into a container
  • Use within a few days or freeze until ready to use

Step 1: Prepare Asparagus

First, wash and trim asparagus.

One great way to trim asparagus does not even require a knife. Simply bend the asparagus towards the end (where the asparagus begins to change from green to a whitish color), and it will snap at the appropriate spot. Using this method, you will have your asparagus trimmed in a snap... literally!

Rather than discarding the ends, consider adding them to compost or freezing them (along with other vegetable trimmings) to make vegetable broth.

Step 2: Prepare Water

Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl or another pot with ice water and set it aside. Use enough water to be able to cover the asparagus.

Step 3: Boil Asparagus

Add asparagus to boiling water and boil for 2-5 minutes.

Base the number of minutes on the thickness of your asparagus. If your asparagus is thin, two minutes will do the job. Leave it in for two to three minutes longer for thick asparagus.

The asparagus will turn bright green when it is done.

Step 4: Stop the Cooking Process

Remove the asparagus from the hot water using tongs or by straining it.

Quickly shock the asparagus by adding it to the ice bath you prepared in step two. The cold water will stop the cooking process. Let it soak in the ice water for about three minutes, or until cooled, before straining it.

After you strain it, it will be ready for use in your recipe, or pat dry to freeze.

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