Whether you're serving a platter of crudités, assembling a cold salad, or par-cooking your snow peas for a stir fry, blanching is a must-do step. The result will be vibrant green snow peas with a crisp-tender texture that enhances their verdant, sweet flavor -- in fact, they'll look and taste even better than raw, just-picked peas. Blanching is fast, easy and can be used to prepare almost any vegetable, so it's a great technique to have in your culinary arsenal.
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl about 2/3 of the way up with ice water. Place the ice bath near the stove. Stack several paper towels on a plate and place it next to the ice bath.
Bring about four quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt, depending on your taste.
Carefully drop about 2 cups of snow peas into the boiling water and allow to cook for 2 minutes. You can adjust the cooking time to your liking, but do not overcook -- taste-test a pea every 30 seconds.
Remove the peas using a slotted spoon or spider skimmer and immediately plunge the peas into the ice bath. When the peas have cooled, remove them and dry on the paper towels.
- Some chefs suggest adding a very small pinch of baking soda to the cooking water to further enhance the color of your peas; do not add too much baking soda, as it will result in mushy peas.
- If you have more than 2 cups of peas, repeat the process, heating the water to a good boil again and adding more ice to the bath if necessary.
- When taste-testing your peas during the cooking process, dip them into the ice bath before tasting to avoid burning your tongue.
- Patricia Vlamis/Demand Media