What does it mean when a recipe says to "blanch"?

Crudité Platter with Roasted Garlic Aiolienlarge
Photo: James Baigrie; Styling: Lindsey Beatty

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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When you blanch, you briefly submerge food in boiling water, usually to partly cook the food. For example, if I want to serve crisp but not raw green beans on my crudite platter, I may cook them in boiling water for just a minute or two, then "shock" them in cold water to stop the cooking. Very often, blanching vegetables will have the added effect of making them more brightly colored.

The Crudité Platter with Roasted Garlic Aioli pictured here features the easy technique of blanching veggies.

Marge Perry
May, 2011
  1. Enter at least one ingredient