17 March, 2011

Blanching Broccoli

It's St. Patrick's day, so let's make something green. We're going to blanch some broccoli!

I actually love cooking, and don't know why I haven't posted more about it. Maybe it's because it would have me writing more about my food addiction which keeps me overweight. Or, I'm afraid of having to talk about my inability to keep a consistent food log. I really do not have a good relationship with food. I know what I need to get healthy, but lately, I've been having trouble actually doing what is necessary. What does any of this have to do with blanching broccoli? Well, usually at about two weeks, the vegetables have gone bad, and I have no fresh spinach because I've discarded it, and no broccoli for the same reason. My lack of a meal plan is the death of my vegetables. I've decided to do something about that. Blanching and freezing is a fantastic preservation method. Plus, it makes the food easy to prepare on a moment's notice. If I don't like what mom's cooking, I can pull out a pan, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and make some very delicious broccoli rather quickly.

For the sake of this post, and because I was skeptical of the supermarket food scale, I weighed my broccoli first.
This is obviously more than two pounds. This turned out to be a blessing because I actually ruined about six ounces of broccoli when I tried seasoning it with some pepper from the container of ground black pepper. I really need to get some fresh peppercorns for the grinder so it doesn't happen again.
Hardware: Knife, cutting board, steamer basket, broccoli.
Step 1: Set water to boil. Cut up your broccoli how you like it.
When I got home, I realized that the broccoli we bought had an unusually short stalk. If you have a longer stalk on your broccoli, it's perfectly edible. Just peel it, cut it up, and add it to the florets. It's a little extra work, so if you don't feel like it, just add it to your compost bin. Or, if you live in my house, toss it.
The water's boiling!
Put the steamer basket in filled with broccoli. Cover with a lid. Let it steam for 5 minutes.
Take out steamer basket carefully. Try not to burn yourself as I someday will. Put the broccoli in an ice-water bath for 3 minutes to stop the residual heat from overcooking the broccoli. Look how much greener it is compared to when it was uncooked!
Drain your broccoli well.
Store in a plastic bag and mark it with contents and date. I sucked the air out of this bag with a straw. Air is the enemy of all food, especially wet frozen food.
I like to heat it up in a pan over medium heat with 2 tsp olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper. I actually like a little carmelization to occur. It's probably the best broccoli I've ever had.      

Tomorrow's a weigh in. I'm not looking forward to it. Here's to better times soon. Happy St. Patrick's day!


  1. This looks great!! way to make good choices on st pattys!

  2. This made me crave broccoli! Now that's a rarity! Hmmm...I don't think we even have a steamer basket. I usually just eat raw or frozen. I'll have to check, cuz this looks good! Be well!