Conventional cooking-show wisdom says to blanch vegetables in salted boiling water and then toss them into an ice bath to "shock" them. "We never do that," says Brock. "Water kills the flavor. The more a vegetable sits in water, the more you're pulling out nutrients and flavor compounds that make it delicious." That said, water is still a great way to transfer heat to veggies, just so long as they aren't touching the liquid.
Your move: Toss your veggies in a Ziplock or food saver bag, and throw that bag into boiling water. "You're just using the hot water to break down and soften (the vegetable). If it doesn't have contact with that water, it still cooks but retains its flavor," says Brock. Try it with anything from spinach, to asparagus, to carrots, cooking each for as long as you normally would blanch them.