Definition: This term means to plunge foods into boiling water for a few seconds or a few minutes, then remove and place in ice water. This process sets the color of vegetables, lets you easily peel fruits, and slip the skins off nuts. The food does not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved. Blanching also denatures enzymes that make food spoil as the first step in food preservation.
To set the color of the asparagus, briefly blanch in boiling water.