Big pot blanching is taking 10 times the volume of salted water (it should taste like sea water, but not so much like the dead sea: roughly a cup per 6 quarts) versus the mass you wish to blanch. Bring the salted water to a hard boil (the ratio being this expansive prevents our water from halting its rolling boil and destroying our high pressure and heat system, thusly sogging our perfect beans). Then add the green beans.
After a minute or so in the big pot our green beans will be done enough and should be immediately drained and shocked in an ice bath with equal parts ice and water. We recommend placing the strainer in the ice bath rather than having to fish the green beans out if thrown in lose. This will eliminate the waterlogging effect. I also salt my ice bath a little for good measure to re-season the outside of the bean a bit. We only want our beans in the ice bath long enough to cool and stop the cooking process. From here we have options for our beans, i.e. saute, just as they are, battered and fried (not the healthiest) and the list goes on.
Our blanching in salty boiling water creates a pressure system that permeates our semipermeable green bean and the proteins, unwinding them a little and allowing the sodium to attach. Thus we have a seasoned bean. We could go deeper still with discussion of what happens deep on a molecular dynamic level with negative and positive nanopore but that would be obscene, you don’t have all day!
Suffice it to say, if we have endeavored in this process properly our bean has retained almost all its nutrients and we have successfully seasoned it with salt. Oh, happy day.
As a special note, if healthy eating is your goal, avoid the French way of treating a vegetable. The preference for even the most highly revered french chefs is to cook them beyond al dente. This not only depletes them of vital-valuable nutrients but really, who wants a mushy green bean?
Till next time…remember to eat your vegetables 🙂