Blanching and Steaming

steamed broccoli

Chances are you’ve done your share of blanching and steaming already, but following Paula’s steps for these techniques ensures the perfect combo of crisp and tender, every time.


bowl of ice water
STEP 1: Prepare an ice water bath, which is just a large bowl filled with ice and water. 
green beans in boiling water
STEP 2: Bring a large saucepan or Dutch oven to a boil. Use a pot big enough so that when you add vegetables, the pan isn’t crowded. Start timing as soon as the vegetables are in the boiling water because blanching can take as little as 1 minute.
green beans in ice water
STEP 3: Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to immediately transfer the brightly colored vegetables from the pot to the ice water bath. This stops the veggies from cooking any further.
draining green beans in a colander
STEP 4: When the vegetables are cold, drain them in a colander, making sure to discard any ice. 



water in a saucepan
STEP 1: Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven with water to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Add an empty steamer basket to check the clearance. You want no less than ½ inch of space between the water and the bottom of the steamer basket.
steamed broccoli
STEP 2: Bring water to a boil, and add veggies to steamer basket. Cover immediately, and start timing.
steamed broccoli
STEP 3: When checking vegetables for doneness, remove the lid of the pot away from you so steam is directed away from your body. Test vegetables for doneness by piercing them with the tines of a fork.
steamed broccoli
STEP 4: A silicone oven mitt is best for removing the steamer basket filled with hot vegetables because it’s waterproof and 
heat resistant.