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How to Turn Blanched Vegetables into Lunch

October 21, 2014

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Make like Executive Editor Kristen Miglore and keep blanched vegetables in your fridge at all times -- you'll be halfway to lunch.

Blanched Veg

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Over the weekend, needing to move some sacks of greenmarket produce forward in their life journey or lose them to compost, I just blanched everything in succession -- green beans then broccoli in one big pot, baby potatoes then a few eggs for dinner in another. (Or, rather, I ignored most of the rules of proper blanching, and just squeezed as many vegetables into pots of salty water as would fit, boiled them till they were just tender, then scooped them out into a colander to drain. No time for small batches when you're hungry.) 

That night, I ate the 8-minute eggs and piles of warm, relaxed vegetables dipped in a really mustardy homemade mayo -- I didn't have lemon or garlic, or it might have been lemony or garlicky -- as I believe Canal House would do. All week I'm carrying the leftovers to work and pouring our nice olive oil, flaky Jacobsen salt, and spice blends over it (today was a La Boîte Moruno N. 21 day -- cumin, coriander, and saffron!). I already feel better than the days I just eat salad for lunch (and the days I just eat cake).

More: Learn all about blanching the right way here

Tell us: What vegetables do you think make the best next-day lunches?

Photo by Marian Bull

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Emily Hanhan
    Emily Hanhan
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


AntoniaJames October 22, 2014
I also blanch chard stems, chop them into bite sized pieces, drop into a Mason jar and cover with whatever vinaigrette I have on hand, for stirring into grains, lentils, quinoa, etc. and leftover vegetables (roasted or raw, typically), e.g., this
Crunchy, with a surprising amount of flavor (when using fresh from the farmers' market chard). ;o)
Emily H. October 22, 2014
I think blanching has always had a fearful connotation. Sad, limp veggies, ya know? But done right, and with fun condiments, a big batch of blanched items can make multiple meals and not feel boring. Well done!
AntoniaJames October 21, 2014
I blanch string beans almost exclusively -- and always buy about three times what I need, to have plenty for lunches, to serve with our light suppers (lately, + toasted tahini/Greek yogurt/lemon/S&P dressing). I also blanch copious amounts of cauliflower to stir into dals, chop and add to frittatas and "crustless quinoa quiche," add to soups, curries, etc. (I also roast enormous quantities of cauliflower, but it all seems to get devoured before there's any hope of leftovers . . . .) ;o)
Marian B. October 21, 2014
I would just like everyone on the internet to know that this tasted VERY good. Should have stolen more bites while Kristen was concentrating intently on her work.