The Food Lab: Cryo-Blanched Green Beans

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

As the folks at Ideas in Food have explained, freezing vegetables actually causes many of the same reactions as blanching does, namely, helping cells to break down and internal gases to escape. As the vegetables freeze, ice crystals forming within their cells will puncture cell walls, weakening their structure. After thawing, what you end up with is a vegetable that is partially softened but still has bright, fresh flavor with a bit of crunch remaining.

If you eat cryo-blanched vegetables (like, say, green beans) just as they are, you won’t be all that happy—their texture tends to be a little…flaccid. But if you sauté them after thawing to soften them just the slightest bit more, you’ll end up with vegetables with perfect color, perfect texture, and the brightest, freshest flavor you’ve ever had from a sautéed vegetable.

This recipe is excerpted from The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. You can order the book here or on Amazon, and sign up for The Food Lab Newsletter for news about upcoming events.

Published at Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:50:00 +0000