Blanching veggies before roasting

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Roasted asparagus with feta is a favorite. So is roasted cauliflower which I sometimes use over a bed of sauteed chard to make a pizza. Blanching the veggies before roasting them may allow you to have less salt on the vegetables and for them to caramelize a bit nicely without burning. Sometimes I have burned vegetables when roasting them until they were tender.

So try this — enjoy the bounty.


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Salt a big pot of water until it tastes barely salty. Bring it to a boil. 
  3. Add asparagus or brussels sprouts or green beans or fennel chunks or cauliflower or broccoli. Leave in the boiling water for about 2 minutes. They are still blanching even if the water hasn't come back to full boil. (If you plan to use blanching as your only cooking method, you can bite the veggies periodically until crunchy tender, scoop them into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking, drain, and serve.) 
  4. Drain the veggies, toss them with a little olive oil, and lay them out on a baking sheet. It is important not to crowd them. Unlike past roasting instructions, you don't need to add any kosher salt.
  5.  Roast them until tender and beginning to caramelize. Add some freshly ground pepper.