Buying and Cooking Vegetables

Buying and Cooking Vegetables
Buying and Cooking Vegetables

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • Corn

  • Green Beans

  • Leeks

  • Peas

  • Potatoes

  • Spinach & Chard

  • Acorn Squash

  • Summer & Zucchini Squash

  • Sweet Potatoes

Directions

Corn Look for: Pale to dark green husks with moist silks; each ear should feel heavy to the hand, the cob filling the husk well. Grill: Pull back the husks without removing them; pull out the silks. Replace the husks; soak the ears in water for 20 minutes. Preheat grill. Place corn (in husks) over high heat and grill, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove husks before serving. Microwave: Husk corn and cut ears in thirds; place in a large glass baking dish or microwave-safe container. Cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 4 minutes. Sauté: Remove kernels from cobs. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn kernels; cook, stirring constantly, until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar before serving. Steam: Husk corn, then break or cut ears in half to fit in a steamer basket. Set over 2 inches of water in a large pot over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, about 4 minutes. Green Beans Look for: Small, thin, firm beans. Prep: Snip off stem ends. Microwave: Place beans in a large glass baking dish. Add 1/4 cup broth (or water). Cover and microwave on High for 4 minutes. Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Spread beans on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Sauté: Heat 2 teaspoons walnut oil in a large skillet. Add beans; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Steam: Place beans in a steamer basket over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Leeks Look for: Long, thin stalks that do not bend and are not bruised; the outer layers should not be wrinkly or dried out. Prep: Trim off the thick green leaves, leaving only the pale green and white parts; pull off damaged outer layers, leaving the root end intact. Split in half lengthwise. Under cold running water, fan out inner layers to rinse out grit and sand. Braise: Place leeks in a large skillet with 1/2 cup vegetable (or chicken broth), 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 6 juniper berries and 6 black peppercorns). Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or cold with a vinaigrette dressing. Grill: Preheat grill. Brush leeks with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place over direct, medium heat and grill, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Trim off root ends of leeks, slice in half crosswise and then into 1/4-inch-thick slices lengthwise. Spread on a baking sheet or pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, stirring once halfway through cooking, until browned and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Sauté: Thinly slice leeks into half-moons. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened and very aromatic, about 5 minutes. Peas Look for: If fresh, look for firm, vibrant green pods without blotches and with the stem end still attached. Prep: If fresh, zip open the hull, using the stem end as a tab. If frozen, do not defrost before using. Microwave: Place peas in a glass baking dish or microwave-safe bowl; add 2 tablespoons broth (or unsweetened apple juice). Cover tightly and microwave on High for 2 minutes. Sauté: Heat 2 teaspoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peas; cook, stirring often, until bright green, about 3 minutes. Steam: Place peas in a steamer basket over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam for 2 minutes. Potatoes, red-skinned or yellow-fleshed Look for: Small potatoes with firm skins that are not loose, papery or bruised. Prep: Scrub off any dirt (peeling is optional; the skin is fiber-rich and the nutrients are clustered about 1/2 inch below the skin). Braise: Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a large skillet with 1/2 cup each vegetable broth and nonfat milk and 1 teaspoon butter. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat and cook until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Halve potatoes then cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, stirring once halfway through cooking, until crispy and browned on the outside and tender on the inside, 20 to 25 minutes. Sauté: Peel potatoes (if desired), then shred using the large-hole side of a box grater. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes; reduce heat. Cook, pressing down with the back of a wooden spoon, for 6 minutes. Flip the cake over and continue cooking until browned, about 5 minutes more. Steam: Place potatoes in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam until tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Spinach & Chard Look for: Supple, deeply colored leaves without mushy spots. Prep: Rinse thoroughly to remove sand; remove thick stems and shred leaves into 2-inch chunks. Rinse leaves again but do not dry. Braise: Heat 2 teaspoons walnut oil (or canola oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach or chard and toss until wilted. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth. Cover, reduce heat and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or rice vinegar) over the greens. Acorn Squash Look for: Green, orange or white varietals with firm, smooth skins and no spongy spots. Prep: Cut in quarters and scoop out the seeds. Braise: Place squash in a pot with 2 cups unsweetened apple juice. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Microwave: Place squash in a large glass baking dish; add 1/2 cup water. Cover and microwave on High for 15 minutes; let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Summer & Zucchini Squash Look for: No breaks, gashes or soft spots; smaller squash (under 8 inches) are sweeter and have fewer seeds; do not peel, but scrub off any dirt. Prep: Cut off stem ends. Grill: Cut squash lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips. Preheat grill; brush strips lightly with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place over direct, medium heat; grill, turning once, until marked and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut squash lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender, about 10 minutes. Sauté: Cut squash into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove and squash; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 7 minutes. Steam: Cut squash into 1/2-inch-thick rings. Place in a steamer basket with a small onion, thinly sliced. Place over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Sweet Potatoes Look for: Taut if papery skins with tapered ends. Braise: Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large skillet with 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Bring to a simmer over high heat; reduce heat, cover and cook until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, increase heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 2 minutes. Microwaving: Place 2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes in a large glass baking dish; pierce with a knife. Microwave on High until soft, 8 to 12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Halve sweet potatoes, then slice into 1/2-inch wedges. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until browned and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Steam: Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a pot set over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, about 20 minutes.

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