How to Blanch Broccoli and Broccoli Rabe: 3 Recipes for Veg Crisp Texture

How to Blanch Broccoli and Broccoli Rabe: 3 Recipes for Veg Crisp Texture
Broccoli - Photo by RitaE on Pixabay
SHARE - Blanching is a cooking method in which vegetables are cooked for a short time—either in boiling water or with steam—and then immediately cooled in an ice water bath. This method helps to reduce food quality loss over time by inactivating the enzymes responsible for it.

People often use blanching as a treatment prior to freezing, drying, or canning, usually to preserve food color, texture, flavor, and nutritional value. Broccoli and broccoli rabe are amongst vegetables that are commonly blanched to prevent browning and textural changes as well as off-flavors.

So, if you’re wondering how to blanch broccoli and broccoli rabe, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to give you the tips and tricks throughout the article, so keep reading!

How long to blanch broccoli and broccoli rabe

Broccoli - Photo by Jean Fernandine on Pixabay

Before getting down to learn how to blanch broccoli and broccoli rabe, it’s important to consider advised times and temperatures for a food product so that you can successfully pull it off.

This is because over-blanching can lead to an excessive loss of nutrients and aromatic compounds, as well as softening of the food. Blanching at temperatures or times lower than those recommended may not effectively inactivate all enzymes.

What’s more, this may also cause the release of more enzymes from the plant tissue, which results in faster spoiling of the product. You can cook for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water in order to successfully blanch broccoli.

The broccoli should be bright green and just barely tender. If you steam the broccoli, expect it to finish within five minutes. On the other hand, blanching rabe will only take time for about 30 seconds. It’s because a rabe is the type of leafy greens, so we can’t cook it for too long.

How to blanch broccoli for freezing

Broccoli - Photo by Monika Schröder on Pixabay

Before freezing, broccoli requires brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes. Follow the given steps on how to blanch broccoli:

1. Prep your broccoli by washing and cutting the broccoli down to the desired size.

2. Fill a large heavy pot 2/3 of the way full with water. Cover the pot and place it on the stove over high heat. Once the water has begun to boil add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.

3. While you are waiting for your pot of water to boil, prepare your ice water bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes.

4. Cook your broccoli for about 3 minutes. After that, cool your broccoli down by transferring it to the ice water bath for about 30 seconds.

5. Serve or store your blanched broccoli.

How to blanch broccoli rabe

Broccoli - Photo by Alex Rodry on Pixabay

Let’s learn how to blanch broccoli and make blanched broccoli rabe with garlic in this recipe.


• 1 bunch of broccoli rabe

• 3 tablespoons of olive oil

• 4 garlic cloves

• Pinch of crushed red chile flakes

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Toasted pine nuts, for garnish

The steps:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Wash 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, remove any necessary part.

2. Blanch rabe for about 30 seconds and drain.

3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add 4 sliced garlic cloves and a big pinch of crushed red chile, then cook for 1 minute.

4. Add blanched greens and a splash of water, cook for 5 minutes uncovered. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

5. Serve greens drizzled with olive oil and garnished with toasted pine nuts.

How to blanch broccoli in microwave

Broccoli - Photo by inmorino on Pixabay

A microwave can also be used for blanching vegetables, including broccoli. Here’s how to blanch broccoli in microwave.

1. Put your desired vegetables in a microwave-safe dish or bowl covered with a glass lid, and add one cup of water to it.

2. If the container is filled halfway with water, you can reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.

3. Submerge the vegetables in ice-cold water after blanching them. Once the vegetables cool down, drain the water with a colander.

4. Place your vegetables in Ziploc bags or small airtight containers before placing them in the freezer.

And that wraps up the tutorials on how to blanch broccoli and rabe!


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