Sunday, January 13, 2013

How long do you steam broccoli or cauliflower?

5 – 6 min. 
Make sure you bring the water in the bottom pot to a full boil before starting the timer.
This may sound like a ridiculous question to those of you whom are seasoned cooks, but I started thinking about how the basics sometimes get overlooked.  Truth is that we all started out as new cooks and someone had to teach us the little things. 

So, I decided to post individual estimated times for a few basic vegetables to use as a reference.

It seems as if everyone is fancying up their vegetables. I'm equally guilty of that too. However, simple steamed vegetables, when cooked properly - are delicious and when served as a side dish to an already flavorful main dish, it compliments rather than competes.

Over the past few months I have been steaming almost all my vegetables. In my favorite and probably oldest pot that I own.  If this pot could talk, it would have many stories to tell...
3 quart Revere Ware
The beauty of steamed vegetables is that they cook up quick and retain almost all of their nutrients.  I love the convenience of perfectly cooked leftover veggies, so I always cook more than I think I will need just for leftovers. All it takes is 30 seconds in the microwave and they taste as if they were just cooked. 

I do enjoy raw vegetables, but I love leftover steamed fresh veggies. They make for a great snack - cold straight out of the fridge, tossed into salads, pasta or rice, as well as, a quick stir fry, soups, omelets, stews... the list goes on and on. 

I'm really not trying to be a vegetable snob, but... The only frozen vegetables that I like are peas, spinach and some green beans.  All other frozen vegetables that I have tried tend to be mushy and watery.  Making me feel as I eat them... what's the point?

One of my tricks to bring out the natural flavor of each vegetable is to; soak them in lightly salted water for about 15 min. before I steam them.  This gentle salting allows the flavor of the vegetable to wake up, needing very little else after its cooked.

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