How to Cook Vegetables Correctly So That They Stay Tasty
Vegetables are a perfect and healthy garnish for many dishes. Thanks to quick freezing technologies, we can eat them all year round. But how do we cook them so that they stay tasty and don’t lose nutrients and vitamins?
5-Minute Crafts editorial cooked vegetables using 7 different methods. In some cases, we got a tasty dish, in other cases, they turned out to be watery and flavorless. We want to help you cook vegetables so that they keep their texture and taste.
1. Vegetables roasted in the oven
- Heat the oven to 390°F.
- Mix vegetables and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a bowl. Add salt and pepper as per your taste.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the vegetables on it. Arrange the pieces in 1 layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until vegetables become slightly brown on the edges.
Result: Vegetables are tasty, nice-smelling, and crispy. The main thing is not to miss the moment and not overdry them in the oven. This cooking method is suitable if you have enough time to prepare the dish.
2. Blanched vegetables
- Get a bowl with icy water and put it next to your stove.
- In a big pot, bring the water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp of salt, then lower the vegetables and cook for 1.5 — 2 minutes. If you prefer softer vegetables, you can cook them longer. Be careful not to overcook them.
- Take the vegetables out with a skimmer and plunge them into the ice water right away to stop the cooking process. Once removed from the water, the vegetables are ready to be served.
Result: Vegetables turned out not very tasty and bland.
3. Fried vegetables
- Heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Put the vegetables and a pinch of salt in it and mix them together.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, constantly stirring until the vegetables become soft and slightly turn brown.
Result: Vegetables cooked by this method are tasty and crispy.
4. Steamed vegetables
- Fill a saucepan with water and insert a steamer basket into it. The water should not reach the bottom of the steamer basket.
- Bring the water to a boil. Place the vegetables in the steamer basket, cover with a lid, and cook them in the steam for 4-5 minutes until soft.
- Mix the cooked vegetables with a small amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also sprinkle ready vegetables with lemon juice.
Result: Vegetables are flavorless by taste. It is easy to correct this by adding spices and olive oil after cooking. The biggest advantage is that this is one of the best ways to cook vegetables and preserve their nutritional elements.
5. Vegetables cooked in a microwave oven
- Place vegetables into a microwave-friendly bowl and cover them with 1/4 glass of water. Don’t add more water — vegetables should be steamed, not boiled.
- Cover with a microwaveable lid and put them in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and check the vegetables. They should be soft. Microwave for another 1-2 minutes, if needed.
- Mix the cooked vegetables with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Result: The main advantage of the dish is the quickness of cooking. All you need is 3-5 minutes and the vegetables are ready to eat. The taste of these veggies resembles the taste of steamed veggies.
6. Stewed vegetables
- Heat up several tablespoons of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan.
- Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes until they turn brown in some places, stirring them from time to time.
- Add several tablespoons of water and cover the skillet to let the vegetables stew for about 3 minutes until they become soft. Add salt and pepper as per your taste.
Result: Vegetables are soft and tasty — a perfect garnish for many dishes. The main thing is to, first, not to add too much water so you don’t soak the fried vegetables. Second, it’s important to stop the stewing process in time, otherwise, you might end up with a visually unaesthetic puree-like porridge instead of a nice-looking garnish.
7. Boiled vegetables
1. Bring water to boil in a big pot.
2. Add 1 tbsp of salt, then add vegetables and cook for about 2-3 minutes until soft. Be careful not to overcook the product. Remove the cooked vegetables with a strainer.
Result: This is the least successful way of cooking vegetables because it makes them watery, and the broccoli and cauliflower florets become flaccid. In addition, the longer the vegetables stay in boiling water, the more nutrients and vitamins they lose.