Learn how to perfectly blanch asparagus until it’s bright green, with a tender crisp texture. Blanched asparagus is perfect to be added to any recipe, or for freezing.
What Is Blanching?
Blanching vegetables and fruits is a great method to preserve them and keep them for longer. It also cooks your vegetable perfectly to be added to salads, pastas, casseroles, pizza, crudites, omelets, and quiche. I blanch my vegetables before I freeze them, because the process slows down or stops the enzyme action which can cause loss of color, nutritional value, texture, and flavor.
Another reason why you would want to blanch a vegetable or a fruit, is to easily remove the peel. A great example is peaches, tomatoes, and nuts.
How To Blanch Asparagus
- Prep: First, you’ll need to trim the asparagus. Cut off about an inch from the bottom of the stalk. You can save the trimmings for vegetable stock!
- Boil Water: Next, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add some salt to the water – this will help season the asparagus.
- Add the Asparagus: Once the water is boiling, carefully add the asparagus to the pot. Let it cook for about three minutes, or until it is bright green and tender but still firm.
- Shock in Ice Water: Remove the asparagus from the pot with a kitchen tongs and place it in a dish filled with cold water and ice for 1 minute. This will stop the cooking process and help keep the asparagus crisp.
- Use: Once the asparagus has cooled, you can use it in any recipe or freeze it for later.
This method only works for fresh asparagus. Don’t attempt this with frozen asapragus as they have been blanched already.
This blanching method also works for any other fruit or vegetable. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the size of your vegetable. Remove from hot water when your vegetable can be pierced with a fork but still crisp.
How Long To Blanch Asparagus
I find 2-3 minutes is enough to reach the perfect texture for asparagus. It depends on the size of the asparagus, and thickness of the vegetable. The best way to test the texture is to check if you can easily pierce the asparagus with a fork, but you want it to stay crunchy otherwise the tops will become mushy.
Always blanch fruits and vegetables before freezing to help retain the texture, color, and flavor. After blanching asparagus, drain it from water and place on paper towels then flash freeze.
To flash freeze, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes or until it’s solid frozen. Then transfer to a ziploc bag, seal and freeze for up to 1 year.
Yes! Although it’s optional, salting the water before blanching vegetables helps season them and preserve their color and flavor.
Now that you can blanch asparagus, you can say goodbye to dull and mushy asparagus and have it perfect every time! Make sure to pin this tutorial for more people to enjoy.
- 1 pound Asparagus
- 4 quarts water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Ice water and ice cubes
- First, you'll need to trim the asparagus. Cut off about an inch from the bottom of the stalk. You can save the trimmings for vegetable stock.
- In a saucepan or a large pot, bring water to a boil and salt it.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water, add ice cubes to it, and set aside.
- Add the prepped asparagus to the boiling water, and set your timer to 2-3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright in color, crisp and tender at the same time.
- Remove from the saucepan with a spider strainer, and plunge into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Leave for 1 minute, then drain and use as desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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