This post was sponsored by Walmart as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Learn how to blanch broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots for vegetable trays, crudités, and salad. Includes blanching, shocking, and serving instructions, plus vegetable tray ideas.
How to Blanch Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Carrots
Be sure to enter the Backyard Makeover promotion while you’re here (details can be found below)!
I love summer! I view it as an excellent excuse to break out the snacking and entertaining essentials that don’t require cooking. To that end, I like to blanch broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots for veggie trays.
You can also get fancy and call them crudités. Crudités is French for “raw things,” and is pronounced crew-dih-TAY (don’t pronounce the “s” at the end). A platter of crudités can include raw vegetables like tomatoes and celery, but it can also include lightly cooked vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
The cooking method used for these vegetables is called blanching, in which veggies are briefly boiled in salted water, then plunged into ice water to stop the cooking process and set the color. Blanching removes the “raw” flavor, makes the vegetables easier to bite into, and helps preserve the natural color of the vegetable.
A crudités platter usually includes dip. I like to use Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus from Walmart, which is a great summer dip for any picnic or poolside snack. My favorite thing about Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is how its robust flavor can be paired with anything from vegetables, to chicken wings, to crackers.
For crackers, I picked up Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins Original, which are made with real Blue Diamond® Almonds, and are wheat and gluten free. They have no artificial flavors, and their crispy, crunchy texture goes well with hummus and provides a nice contrast to the blanched vegetables.
I also added Blue Diamond Gourmet Garlic, Herb, and Olive Oil Almonds to my crudités platter. Blue Diamond Gourmet Garlic, Herb, and Olive Oil Almonds are a premium product that is made with only high-quality nonpareil almonds that have been perfectly seasoned.
The flavor of the seasoned almonds adds spice and savoriness.
When you visit the Upgrade Your Summer at Walmart website, you can enter to win the Backyard Makeover promotion. Eight (8) Grand Prize winners will receive:
- One (1) Palm Springs Wicker Patio Set with four (4) Chairs,
- One (1) Sonus Out Speakers,
- One (1) Weber Genesis 11 E310 Grill,
- One (1) Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler, and
- One (1) $300 Wal-Mart Gift Card (terms and conditions of the Gift Card apply).
Twenty-five (25) Second Prize winners will receive one (1) $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card (terms and conditions of the Gift Card apply).
When you shop at Walmart, you can pick up your broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in the produce section. I usually buy two individual bunches of broccoli, one head of cauliflower, and one pound of baby cut carrots. You can vary the amount to suit the size of the party you’re serving.
Don’t forget to enter the Backyard Makeover promotion!
How to Blanch Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Carrots
Learn how to blanch broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots for vegetable trays, crudités, and salad. Includes blanching, shocking, and serving instructions.
- salt to taste
- 1 pound broccoli
- 1 pound cauliflower
- 1 pound baby cut carrots
Fill a large pot (such as a Dutch oven) halfway with water. Add salt to the water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring to dissolve, until the water tastes like the ocean: noticeably salty, but not overwhelming. Place the pot on a stovetop burner and turn the heat to high.
Prepare the broccoli by cutting off the large stem, then cutting the broccoli flower into evenly sized florets. Cut the cauliflower in quarters down the center stem, then slice away the thick stem from the interior of each quarter. The florets will fall away from the stem as you slice.
Prepare a large bowl by filling it with a mix of ice and water. Have a colander style spoon or scoop ready (this will allow you to scoop out the blanched vegetables without draining the pot).
Once the water in the pot is at a steady, rolling boil, add the cauliflower florets, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Then scoop out the cauliflower and place it in the ice water to cool down. (This is called shocking.)
Add the baby cut carrots to the pot, and cook for 1 minute. Then scoop out the carrots and place them in the ice water to cool down.
Add the broccoli florets to the pot, and cook for 1 minute. Then scoop out the broccoli and place it in the ice water to cool down.
Once the vegetables are completely chilled (about 3 minutes), remove them from the ice water. You can arrange them on a serving tray and serve, or cover very tightly and refrigerate to serve at a later time.