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How to Cook Vegetables

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Preparation may not be the most exciting aspect of cooking vegetables, but learning the correct techniques can make a big difference not only in the appearance of the food or the final results, but also in efficiency. Good technique can keep a beginning cook from getting frustrated and help an experienced cook more thoroughly enjoy time spent in the kitchen.

In the following sections, we offer step-by-step instructions for preparing and cooking vegetables. With a little practice, you’ll soon be chopping, dicing, seeding, and zesting like a pro. We’ll start with how to cook artichokes on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cook Artichokes

Black-Eyed Pea, Artichoke, and Mozzarella Salad

Pasta Salad in Artichoke Cups

To remove dirt between leaves, soak artichokes for 1 hour in warm salted water.

To prepare artichokes, cut bottom stems from artichokes with utility knife so that artichokes will sit flat and upright. Remove outer, tough leaves; discard. Cut the bottom stems off the artichokes and discard.

Cut 1 inch off pointed tops of artichokes with chef’s knife. Cut 1 inch off pointed tops of artichokes with chef’s knife.

Snip tips from remaining leaves with scissors. Snip tips from remaining leaves with scissors.

To cook artichokes, use large enough stockpot to allow artichokes to fit in a single layer. Add water to stockpot to 4-inch depth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add lemon juice; drop in artichokes so their bases are at the bottom of pot.

Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 30 to 40 minutes until leaves pull easily from bases and artichoke bottoms are tender when pierced with fork.

Drain artichokes upside down in colander so water is not trapped in leaves; set aside until cool enough to handle.

Fill hollowed artichokes with your choice of stuffing mixture, smoothing leaves upward to close slightly. Place on baking sheet; bake 10 to 15 minutes until heated through. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately. You can fill the cavity of the artichoke with your desired stuffing.

To stuff and bake cooked artichokes, spread the outer leaves carefully with your hands. Remove small heart by grasping with fingers, then pulling and twisting. Scoop out the fuzzy choke down to the flat artichoke bottom with spoon.

To microwave artichokes, prepare artichokes as directed through step 4. Rinse in cool water; drain and wrap individually in heavy-duty plastic wrap. Place each wrapped artichoke, bottom side up, in a custard cup. Microwave on HIGH 12 to 14 minutes until leaves pull easily from bases and artichoke bottoms are tender when pierced with fork, turning and rearranging each cup halfway through cooking. Continue as directed.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes:
Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out
new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our
Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

Cut stem from each Brussels sprout and pull off outer or bruised leaves. Cut the stem from each Brussels sprout and remove the damaged leaves.

For faster, more even cooking, cross-hatch core by cutting an “X” deep into the stem end of each sprout with small paring knife. Refresh sprouts for 5 minutes in bowl of cold water; drain. Cut an “X” into the stem to ensure even cooking.

Use large enough saucepan to allow sprouts to fit in a single layer. Pour cooking liquid (broth or water) into saucepan. To braise sprouts, place sprouts with stem ends down in broth. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer about 5 minutes or just until sprouts turn bright green and are crisp-tender when pierced with a fork.

Uncover; simmer until liquid is almost evaporated. Drain. Simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated.

In the next section, we will dive deeper into vegetables with an exploration of how to cut and slice onions.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cut and Slice Onions

Peel skin. Cut onion in half through the root with utility knife. Place onion half, cut side down, on cutting board.

Holding knife horizontally, make cuts in onion parallel to board, almost to root end. Cut onion vertically into thin slices, holding onion with fingers to keep its shape.

Turn onion and cut crosswise to root end. (The closer the cuts are spaced, the finer the onion will be chopped.) Repeat with remaining onion half. Cut the onion crosswise to the root end.

Peel and quarter onion; place in bowl.

Pulse 4 to 7 times until onion is finely chopped.

Scrape bowl once during chopping. Scrape bowl once during chopping.

Chop enough onion to measure 1/2 cup. Drain onions, if needed.

Preparing peppers can take a little practice. Find some helpful techniques on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cut and Slice Peppers

Make circular cut with paring knife around top of pepper. Cut around the stem of the pepper with a paring knife.

Pull stem from pepper; scoop out seeds and membrane with a spoon. Remove the seeds from the cavity of the pepper.

Rinse pepper under running water to remove any excess seeds; drain well.

For rings, thinly slice pepper crosswise; remove any excess. For rings, thinly slice down the length of the pepper.

For strips, cut pepper into halves. Slice halves lengthwise into strips. For strips, cut the pepper in half and then cut thin strips.

To chop or dice, gather strips together and slice crosswise into desired size pieces. To dice, gather the strips and cut them crosswise.

Find out how to cook parsnips, a member of the carrot family, on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cook Parsnips

To prepare parsnips, peel with vegetable peeler. Trim ends and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Trim the end of the parsnip into 3/4-inch chunks.

Pour 1 inch water into medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; add parsnip chunks. Cover; boil 10 minutes or until parsnips are fork-tender. Drain. Place in large bowl. Coarsely mash with fork; if desired. Coarsely mash the parsnips after they’ve been boiled.

In the next section, we will show you how to prepare one of the sweetest vegetables you can eat — beets.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cut and Slice Beets

To prevent color from bleeding during boiling, cut tops off beets, leaving at least 1 inch of stem; do not trim root ends. Cut the tops off of the beets, leaving at least 1 inch of stem.

Scrub beets under running water with soft vegetable brush, being careful not to break skins. Scrub the beets under running water.

Place beets in medium saucepan; cover with water. Cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium. Simmer about 20 minutes or until just barely firm when pierced with a fork and skins rub off easily. (Larger beets will take longer.)

Drain beets and rub off skins with hands under cool running water. Transfer to plate; cool. Rinse pan.

Cut roots and stems from beets on the plate. Do not cut beets on a cutting board; the juice will stain it. Cut the beets on a glass or nonporous surface to avoid staining.

Shallots can add a wonderful flavor to a dish. Find out how to prepare them on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cut and Slice Shallots

Remove papery outer skin from shallot. Cut off root end; discard.

Place a shallot on cutting board. Holding utility knife horizontally, make cuts in shallot parallel to board, almost to root end. Cut shallot vertically into thin slices, holding it with fingers to keep its shape. Cut down on the shallot parallel to the cutting board.

Turn shallot and cut crosswise to root end. (The closer the cuts are spaced, the finer the shallot will be chopped.)

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cut and Slice Cabbage

Discard any wilted or bruised outer leaves of cabbage.

Place cabbage on cutting board; cut into 4 wedges with chef’s knife.

Carefully cut away core; discard

Slice cabbage wedges crosswise to form shreds. To shred the cabbage, slice the wedges crosswise.

Learn how to cook another member of the greens family — kale — on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Cook Kale

Rinse kale well in large bowl of warm water; place in colander. Drain. Thoroughly rinse the kale in a large bowl of water.

Discard any discolored leaves. To trim away tough stem ends, make “V-shaped” cut at stem end; discard tough stems. Discard any tough stems while trimming.

Prepare a chiffonade of the leaves by rolling them up jellyroll style. Roll up the kale leaves and cut them crosswise.

Slice the rolled leaves crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices with chef’s knife. Separate the kale into strips. Separate the sliced kale into thin strips.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to large, heated skillet. Heat oil; add strips of kale. Cook and stir over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes until wilted and tender (older leaves may take slightly longer). Cook the kale until it is wilted and tender.

To get some delicious kale recipes, check out 10 Ways to Cook Kale.

Spinach is another delightful green vegetable that is extremely good for you. Find out how to prepare it in the next section.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

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How to Prepare Spinach

Separate spinach into leaves. Swish in warm water. Repeat several times with fresh warm water to remove sand and grit. Pat dry with paper towels. Thoroughly rinse the spinach to remove any sand or grit.

To remove stems from spinach leaves, fold each leaf in half, then with hand pull stem toward top of leaf. Discard stem. Blot moisture from leaves with paper towels. Fold the spinach leaf in half and gently tear off the stem.

To stir-fry spinach, quickly place in wok. Cook and stir 1 or 2 minutes just until spinach wilts. Transfer to serving dish. Add butter or sauce. Toss and serve immediately. To stir-fry spinach, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until wilted.

We’ll continue with the popular vegetable that’s actually a fruit — the tomato — in the next section.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Tomatoes

Cut skin-deep “X” on bottom of each tomato. Place no more than 2 tomatoes at a time in saucepan of simmering water for 10 seconds.

Remove with slotted spoon; plunge immediately into bowl of cold water for another 10 seconds.

Remove loosened peel with paring knife. Remove loosened peel with paring knife.

Spray blade of chef’s knife with nonstick cooking spray. Spray the blade of your knife with nonstick cooking spry to ensure an even cut.

Arrange sun-dried tomatoes in single layer on cutting board.

Cut tomatoes into strips. Line up strips and cut crosswise into pieces of desired size. Spray knife as needed to prevent sticking. Cut the tomatoes into strips and then cut the strips crosswise.

Cut tomato into halves. Remove stem. Scrape out seeds with spoon. Half the tomato and then scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

Alternate Method: Cut an “X” in the bottom of tomato. Hold tomato over bowl, sliced side down, and squeeze to remove seeds. You can also remove the seeds by squeezing the tomato as you would a lemon.

Learn all about the cucumber in the next section.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Seed Cucumbers

Remove cucumber peels with paring knife or vegetable peeler.

Cut in half lengthwise and scrap out seed with a small spoon; discard. Cut the halves lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.

Zucchini is another refreshing vegetable. Learn more about it in the next section.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Dice Zucchini

Scrub zucchini with vegetable brush under cold running water.

Slice lengthwise into halves with utility knife. (If zucchini is large, cut into 4 lengthwise pieces.) Cut each piece into 4 to 6 lengthwise strips.

Holding strips together with fingers, cut crosswise into bite-size pieces. Cut your strips crosswise into bite-size pieces.

You’ll want to lend an ear on the next page, when we learn how to cook corn.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Corn

Black Bean Mexicali Salad

Delicious Corn Souffle

To shuck corn, pull outer husks down the ear to the base. Snap off husks and stem at base. Snap off husks and stem at base.

Strip away silk from corn by hand. Remove any stray strands of silk.

Remove any remaining silk with dry vegetable brush. Trim any blemishes from corn and rinse under cold running water. Scrub the ears with a dry vegetable brush.

Pour 1 inch of water into large saucepan or skillet. (Do not add salt, as it will make corn tough.) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add ears; cover. Cook 4 to 7 minutes until kernels are slightly crisp when pierced with fork.

Remove corn with tongs to warm serving platter.

 

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

Cooking Eggplant

Mediterranean Stew

Eggplant Squash Bake

Grilled Greek Vegetable Dinner

Eggplant and Feta Skillet

Place oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse eggplant. To prepare eggplant, trim off cap and stem end. Cut eggplant into 1/4-inch-thick slices with chef’s knife. Place in large colander over bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Drain 1 hour. Sprinkling the eggplant with salt will help remove any excess moisture.

Place eggplant slices in a single layer on baking sheet or jellyroll pan; brush both sides lightly with some of oil. Brush both sides of the eggplant with oil.

To roast eggplant slices, bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms. Turn slices over with tongs; roast about 5 minutes more or until tops are lightly browned and slices are softened; set aside. The eggplant will be done when the tops are brown and softened.

Learn how to prepare butternut squash on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Squash

While it does take some work to prepare squash, its versatility within recipes is worth the extra effort.

Preparing Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a winter squash. Pick squashes in the fall when they are mature.

Remove skin from squash with a vegetable peeler or utility knife. Use short, strong strokes, because the waxy skin is very tough and hard. Use short, long strokes to remove the skin.

Trim off stem with chef’s knife.

Cut squash in half lengthwise.

Scoop out seeds with a spoon; discard Scoop the seeds out of the squash and discard them.

Cut squash into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

Bring cooking liquid to a boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat; add squash.

Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until squash is fork-tender. Transfer squash to serving bowl with slotted spoon.

To bake squash, pierce in several places with cooking fork to vent steam. Pierce the skin of the squash to create vent holes for escaping steam.

Place squash in large foil-lined baking dish; bake 20 minutes at 375°F.

Turn squash upside down; cook 25 minutes more or until easily depressed with finger. (Larger squash may take longer to cook.) Cut in half immediately to stop cooking. Cook the squash until it yields easily to the touch.

Scoop out seeds; discard.

To remove spaghetti strands from squash, “comb” through pulp with two forks. Transfer to a warm serving platters and serve with butter and grated cheese or your favorite sauce.

Next, we will dip into the legume family by learning about green beans.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Green Beans

Place beans in colander; rinse well. To prepare beans, snap off stem end from each bean, pulling strings down to remove if present. (Young tender beans may have no strings.) Snap the ends off each bean, and remove any strings.

Slice beans lengthwise on cutting board with chef’s knife; set aside. Slice beans lengthwise on a cutting board.

Bring 1 inch of water in 2-quart saucepan to a boil over high heat. Add beans. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 8 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender; drain.

Lima beans are another delicious legume. Find out how to prepare them on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Lima Beans

To shell beans, open pods at seams by pinching pods between thumbs and forefingers. Pinch the pod between your fingers and pry it open.

Remove beans; discard shells. Remove the beans and discard the shells.

Learn how to cook asparagus in the next section.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Asparagus

Italian Grilled Vegetables

To prepare asparagus, snap off tough ends of spears where they break easily. Snap off the tough ends of the spears where they break easily.

To prevent tips from cooking faster than stems, peel stem ends with vegetable peeler. If you peel the ends slightly, the spear should cook evenly.

To steam asparagus, rinse asparagus and place in steamer basket. Place steamer basket in large saucepan; add 1 inch of water. (Water should not touch bottom of basket.) Cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; steam asparagus 5 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender. Add water, as necessary, to prevent pan from boiling dry. Add water, if necessary, to prevent burning.

Black-eyed peas are a unique member of the legume family. Find out more about it on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Black-Eyed Peas

Southwest Hopping John

Place fresh black-eyed peas in large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until peas are soft when pierced with fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Simmer the peas until they are soft when they are pierced with a fork.

In the next section, we’ll take a look at peas that really are peas…English peas and snow peas.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

Cooking Peas

Peas are a sweet, tender vegetable that, when cooked properly, are a real treat.

Preparing English (Green) Peas

To prepare peas, press each pea pod between thumbs and forefingers to open. Pry the peapod apart with your thumb and forefinger.

Push peas out with thumb into colander; discard pods. Rinse peas under running water. Drain well. Rinse off the peas undercold, running water.

Heat butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat until melted and bubbly. Cook and stir peas in hot butter for 5 minutes or until crisp and tender.

To de-stem peas decoratively, pinch off stem end from each pod, pulling strings down the pod to remove if present. (Young tender pods may have no strings.) Pinch off the stem end of each pod and remove any excess strings.

Make a “V-shaped” cut at opposite end of pod with utility knife. Use knife to make a “V-shaped” cut at opposite end of pod.

To stir-fry, place wok or large skillet over high heat. (Test hot pan by adding drop of water to pan; if water sizzles, pan is sufficiently hot.) Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Heat oil until hot, about 30 seconds. Briskly toss and stir with wok utensil or spoon, keeping vegetables in constant motion about 4 minutes or until peas are bright green and crisp-tender. Keep the vegetables in constant motion as you cook them.

In the next section, we will address how to best prepare broccoli.

Not what you’re
looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for
you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking
methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables
is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn
how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking
techniques in this helpful article.

Steaming Broccoli

Italian Sausage with Pesto Pasta

Trim leaves from broccoli stalks. Trim off tough ends of stalks. Cut broccoli into flowerets by removing each head; include a small piece of the stem. Cut the broccoli into flowerets by removing the majority of the stalk.

Peel stems with vegetable peeler; cut crosswise into pieces, if desired. To prepare the broccoli stem, peel and cut crosswise.

To steam broccoli, rinse flowerets and pieces. Place steamer basket in large saucepan; add 1 inch of water. (Water should not touch bottom of basket.) Place buttons in steamer; top with flowerets. Cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; steam 4 to 6 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Add water, as necessary, to prevent pan from boiling dry. Steam the broccoli until it turns bright green and crisp-tender.

Cauliflower has many of the same characteristics of broccoli. Learn about this vegetable on the next page.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.

How to Cook Cauliflower

Lentil Rice Curry

Cut leaves from cauliflower by slicing through stem between head and leaves with chef’s knife; remove and discard leaves and stem. Sever the head of the cauliflower from the stem with a kitchen knife.

Cut around core with paring knife, being careful not to separate florets from head; remove and discard core. Rinse. Carefully cut out the core, making sure not to damage the florets.

Pour 1 inch of water into large saucepan. Place cauliflower in water, stem side down; cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes until crisp-tender; drain. Place cauliflower in 8 X 8-inch baking dish.

Cut leaves from cauliflower by slicing through stem between head and leaves with chef’s knife. Remove and discard leaves and stem.

Cut around core with paring knife; remove and discard core.

Break head into pieces, using a utility knife, if needed. Break head into pieces, using a utility knife, if needed.

Cut pieces into bite-size florets with tip of paring knife.

Vegetable-Cooking Chart

The times on the chart are for one pound of vegetable unless otherwise noted.

The times are in minutes.

A range of time is given because cooking times vary due to the age and size of the vegetables. Vegetables are done when they are tender, but still crisp. (They should not be mushy.)

Steaming times begin when the water boils and creates steam.

When microwaving, some vegetables require no water except the droplets that cling to them when rinsed.

Blanching prepares vegetables for freezing. Timing begins when vegetables are dropped into a large pot of boiling water. Plunge vegetables immediately into ice water after cooking, then drain and pat dry with paper towels before freezing.

Boiling requires covering the bottom of a pan with 1/2 to 1 inch of water. Use more water for whole, dense vegetables, such as beets, turnips, and kohlrabi. Bring water to a boil before adding vegetables.

Some cooking methods are not recommended for certain vegetables. This is indicated in the chart by the abbreviation “NR.”

Because vegetables are such a vital part of our diet, it is important to know how to prepare as many varieties as possible. After all, you need to keep eating your greens. Most people don’t get nearly the recommended amount of vegetables each day, but now lack of knowledge can’t be your excuse!

Not what you’re
looking for? Try these:

Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for
you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking
methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.

Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables
is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn
how to grill vegetables in this article.

Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking
techniques in this helpful article.

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