VEGETABLE BASICS

vegetable Basics
A fabulous bounty of vegetables is just waiting to be picked at your local grocery store shop, supermarket and farmers ’ market. It ’ s a year-round horn of plenty of familiar favorites and exotic newcomers, from carrots to jicama, green beans to broccoli rabe. available fresh, freeze, can and dried, there ’ mho a vegetable to fit every motivation. Vegetables bring color, texture and season to our plates, but they besides bring something more — a wealth of healthy nutrients.

New and Specialty Vegetables Glossary

Baby Vegetables : A few vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, corn whiskey, eggplant and potatoes are available in some markets as “ humble, ” “ bantam, ” “ modern ” or “ baby. ” They look like miniature versions of the larger ones, but their bark may be thinner and their human body more delicate.

Broccoli Rabe ( Broccoletta, Broccoli Raab, Brocoletti di Rape, Rapini ) : Although this vegetable is related to the boodle and turnip families, it has none of those characteristics. It has long, slender, dark green stalks with small clusters of broccoli-like buds and lots of leafy greens. The stallion vegetable is edible and has a barbed, bitter flavor. Refrigerate unwashed and wrapped in a plastic bulge up to 5 days. available year-round.

Celeriac ( Celeri-Rave, Celery Knob, Celery Root, Turnip-Rooted Celery ) : This vegetable is grown specially for its big, knobby root that ranges in size from that of an apple to a small cantaloup. The stems and leaves are inedible and are often removed before it reaches stores. Peel the heavy brown skin from the root the inside is creamy white. The balmy relish tastes like a combination of celery and parsley. It can be cooked or served raw, grated or chopped in salads. Refrigerate unwashed in a plastic cup of tea up to 1 week. available October through April.

Daikon : A large blacken or white radish of asian origin. It ranges from six to fifteen inches in length and has a diameter of two to three inches and sometimes more. Its flesh is crisp, juicy and white with a sweet, fresh season. It can be served raw in salads or as a garnish or cooked in a stir-fry. Refrigerate wrapped in fictile up to 1 week. Scrub with a brush under running water before using. available year-round.

Elephant Garlic : A bombastic, white-skinned member of the leek class with bulbs the size of a little grapefruit and very large cloves that average one ounce each. It has a balmy relish than common garlic and doesn ’ thyroxine leave a potent aftertaste or smell. shop in a cool, dry stead. available year-round.

Jicama ( Ahipa, Mexican Potato, Yam Bean ) : A crunchy, juicy root vegetable with a fresh, nutty spirit, particularly democratic in Mexico. Under the slurred brown peel, which should be peeled before using, is ivory pulp that does not discolor and can be served raw in salads or on a vegetable phonograph record with a dip. When cooked, it retains its crisp, water chestnut-like texture and relish. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks. available year-round.

Longbean ( Asparagus Bean, chinese Longbean, Yard-Long Bean ) : Although this looks like a retentive adaptation of the common k attic, it is actually from the lapp plant family as the black-eyed pea. The relish is similar to green beans but is milder and not as sweet. They are normally harvested when about a foot long but sometimes can grow to three feet. normally they are cut in one-half or into smaller pieces and sautéed or stir-fried. If overcooked, they become mushy. Refrigerate unwashed in a plastic base up to 5 days. available year-round.

Mushrooms : forte mushrooms may be available fresh but are frequently sold in dried imprint. If purchased dried, they must be rehydrated as directed on the software. broadly, one ounce of dry mushrooms equals about four ounces of fresh mushrooms after being rehydrated. There are literally thousands of varieties of mushrooms the keep up are some of the most popular.

Chanterelle : A trumpet-shaped rampantly mushroom frequently sold dried. It has a delicate, balmy season and a chewy texture. It can be cooked as a separate side dish or added to soups, sauces and stir-fries it should never be eat bleak. available in dry shape year-round.

Cremini ( Brown ) : A blue brown, slightly firmer version of the cultivate white mushroom but with a slenderly stronger spirit. When allowed to grow to its full size, it is known as a portobello mushroom. available year-round.

Enoki : Grown in clumps from a single base, this fresh mushroom has a retentive, sparse stem and bantam, snow-white ceiling. They are prized for their delicate size and bracing, grapelike flavor. Cut them aside from the root and trim one or two inches from the stems before using. They may be eat raw or added to cooked dishes at the concluding hour to prevent over cook. normally available year-round.

morel : A ruffle, conic wilderness mushroom belong to the truffle family. It may be two to four inches long and range in color from tan to dark brown. The smoky, down-to-earth, nutty relish, prized by food lovers, can be enjoyed by merely sautéing them in butter. fresh wilderness morels are normally available April through June, and cultivated morels may be available at other times during the year. Dried are available year-round.

oyster : A fan-shaped mushroom that grows both wilderness and cultivated on rotting tree trunks-the mushrooms are perfectly edible. The robust, earthy flavor complements pork barrel and bet on dishes ampere well as sauces and stir-fries. Fresh and dried oyster mushrooms are normally available year-round.

Padi Straw ( Straw ) : specially popular in asian cook, this mushroom is so named because it is grown on pale yellow that has been used in a rice paddy. Shaped like bantam 1- to 1 1/2-inch coolie hats, they are politic and meek in season never eat them raw. Most often available dried and found year-round.

Porcini : This mushroom has an down-to-earth season popular in french and italian cook. Fresh, they range from one to ten inches in diameter. The firm texture complements gripe, veal and fish. Most frequently available dried and found year-round.

Portobello : A very large, dark brown mushroom, frequently up to six inches in diameter, that has a dense, meaty texture. It can be grilled and used in a sandwich or sliced for a salad or main cup of tea. The crimini mushroom is a younger adaptation of the portobello. available year-round.

Shiitake ( Golden Oak ) : primitively from Japan and Korea, this mushroom is now grown in the U.S. The average shiitake mushroom is three to six inches in diameter and has a full-bodied, about steaklike season. available fresh in the jump and fall dried are available year-round.

wood ear : The slightly chewy texture of this mushroom makes it an excellent substitute for meat in stir-fry dishes. It is balmy in relish and absorbs the season of the ingredients cooked with it. Dried are available year-round.

Onions : Boiler Onion : A humble onion, one column inch in diameter, available in white, gold, red or purple. Boilers have a mild onion relish and are much used as a side dish or roasted with kernel or poultry. They can besides be added to stews. memory in a cool, dry space up to 1 month. available year-round.

Cipolline : A sugared, finely flavored onion in the first place grown in Italy. It can be baked, broiled, stuffed or used in the lapp means as other onions. shop in a cool, dry place up to 2 weeks. Peak season is September through February.

Maui : A angelic, fat, meek onion from the hawaiian island of Maui. When develop external Hawaii, it is more like the common jaundiced onion. estimable for making caramelize onions and adding to sandwiches and salads or using in the like room as early onions. storehouse in a cool, night stead, or refrigerate in plastic wrapping up to 2 weeks. available year-round.

Parsley Root ( Hamburg Parsley, Rooted Parsley, Turnip-Rooted Parsley ) : originally popular only in Europe, it is now grown in the United States. Although the leaves can be used like regular parsley, it is grown largely for its solution. It is much used in soups and stews and tastes like a combination of carrot and celery. Refrigerate in a formative bag up to 1 week. available year-round.

Potatoes :

purple : Minerals in the land induce this potato to have its vibrant color. It is a little potato with a dense texture that is good for boiling. The imperial discolor fades during cooking.

Yellow ( Yellow Finnish, Yukon Gold ) : The skin and flesh of this potato ranges from buttery jaundiced to gold. It has a meek butterlike flavor, is good for boiling and makes excellent mashed potatoes. The yellow color fades equitable slightly during cooking.

Radicchio : A leafy salad vegetable from the chicory family. Its small idle question has tender leaves with a bittersweet flavor. Most normally available in bourgogne loss, it is attractive in mix salads. Refrigerate in a fictile pocket up to 1 week. available year-round acme temper is midwinter to early spring.

Salsify ( Oyster Plant ) : A long, narrow root with the texture of a carrot and a subtle oyster spirit. The white interior can be eaten natural in salads, added to soups and meats and sautéed as a side dish. Refrigerate in a plastic udder up to 2 weeks. available June through February.

squash : The following peculiarity squash are considered winter squash, which means they have hard, slurred skins and seeds. many varieties are available all year, but the bill season is normally late summer, fall and sometimes into the winter.

carnival : A small, oblate squash with cream, orange and greens tinge. The delicate scandalmongering flesh can be baked or steamed and tastes a bite like dessert potatoes or butternut squash.

Delicata ( Sweet Potato Squash ) : This oblong squash ranges from five to nine inches long and is about two to three inches in diameter. It has pale chicken hide with greens stripes. The seed cavity is small, so the squash yields a lot of comestible pulp. It can be baked or steamed and has a gratifying, buttered corn season.

Golden nugget : A round off squash about the size of a softball with a bright orange shell that has ridges. The orange human body is damp and gratifying but slightly bland. It can be baked or steamed.

Kabocha ( Delica, Edisu, Haka ) : Forest green skin with light striations characterizes this squash that ranges from nine to twelve inches in diameter. The damp, fortunate pulp is about fiberless and has a rich, sugared season similar to a angelic potato or pumpkin. It is normally baked or steamed.

Sugar Loaf ( Orange Delicata ) : A shorter, more knee bend squash than the Delicata with orange or tan skin and green stripes. Its pulp is damp and creamy and has a fresh, buttered-corn flavor, as does the Delicata.

Sweet Dumpling : This modest, softball-size squash has green and white stripes. It is naturally gratifying and is well stuff with rice or stuff.

Taro Root ( Dasheen ) : This starchy potato-like root has a nutty season when cook. It ranges in length from five inches to over twelve inches. The human body is normally creamy white or pale pink and sometimes becomes tinged with purple when cooked. It is used like a potato and can be boiled, fried or baked the edible leaves can be steamed and served like spinach. In Hawaii, it is used to make poi. Refrigerate up to 4 days. available year-round.

Water Chestnut : A park asian ingredient that is nowadays cultivated in the U.S. It is the subaqueous tuber of an aquatic plant that grows in shallow waters. Under the brown black skin is white, crunchy pulp that is bland with a hint of sweet. It can be served raw or cooked. Although available clean, it is most much sold in cans. Refrigerate fresh water system chestnuts tightly wrapped in a plastic bulge up to 1 week. available year-round.

Yuca Root ( Cassava, Manioc ) : A tuber native to South America that is besides grown in Asia and Africa. There are two types of yucca-bitter and sweet. Yuca has ruffianly, brown skin and flesh that is hard, dense and white. The piercingly variety must be cooked before eating. It is normally prepared like potatoes and has a starchy, slenderly angelic flavor. memory in a cool, dry place up to 3 days. available year-round.

Selecting and Cooking

Fresh Vegetables
Ripeness, age, size, moisture content and storage method can affect cooking times.

When cook, use about 1 cup of water per pound of vegetables.

Salting the cook water is optional. If you decide to salt the water, use 1/4 teaspoon salt per cup of water.

Baby ( or miniature ) vegetables, such as beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, corn, eggplant, potatoes and squash, are either harvested early in their growth stages or genetically bred to be true miniatures and tend to be more expensive than their life-size counterparts. They ’ ra tender and finely season eat them raw or cooked. Baby veggies frequently are cooked in a small total of butter or margarine to enhance their flavor. Because of their size, they may cook faster than their life-size relatives, therefore check for doneness respective minutes before the minimum cook time.

Frozen Vegetables
You ’ ll find freeze vegetables available not entirely individually but besides in creative combinations, with or without sauce or with additions such as pasta or rice. many offer suggestions for adding cook meat or domestic fowl to make a chief serve.

When buying frozen vegetables, choose packages that aren ’ thymine opened or damaged or where the contents aren ’ thymine in a solid auction block, which means they may have been thawed and refrozen ( except boxed vegetables such as spinach, which are frozen in a barricade ).

Cook freeze vegetables according to box directions. The pale and freezing process that the manufacturer has done tenderizes them reasonably, so they ’ ll fudge in less time than fresh vegetables.

Store-Bought Canned Vegetables
Choose cans without dents or early damage.

Heat the vegetables, undrained, until hot enfeeble before serving.

Home-Canned Vegetables
Don ’ triiodothyronine cook or eat home-canned vegetables if the jar international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate completely and tightly sealed.

As a base hit precaution, boil all low-acid home-canned foods ( tomatoes, green beans, corn, carrots and beets are the most normally displace vegetables ) for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Vegetable Doneness
Knowing when vegetables are done just properly can mean the remainder between an invite dish and an overdo or half-baked disappointment.

Check doneness at the minimal cook time cook farseeing if necessity.

Because vegetables continue to cook even after you ’ ve taken them out of the microwave, cook veggies in the microwave until about affectionate or crisp-tender.

Cook vegetables such as potatoes, eggplants, peas and greens until bid. Cook other vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, beans, carrots, mushrooms and chime peppers, just until crisp-tender to preserve their bright coloring material and vitamin and mineral content.

Storing Vegetables
Different vegetables have unlike needs, so properly storing vegetables makes a remainder in their ledge liveliness. It ’ second best to buy veggies in quantities you can use promptly to minimize memory time. Storage times and techniques for optimum freshness are given below.

Refrigerator crisp or in a plastic bag in refrigerator : If your refrigerator crisp international relations and security network ’ t two-thirds full moon, put veggies in perforated vegetable or regular plastic bags before putting them in the crisp.

1 to 2 days : asparagus, beet greens, chard, collard greens, green pea, green onions, fresh lima beans, mushrooms, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens.

3 to 5 days : bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, gumbo, summer squash.

1 or 2 weeks : beets, boodle, carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips.

Refrigerate uncovered, 1 or 2 days : dessert corn in husks, in full ripe tomatoes. Let green tomatoes ripen at room temperature but away from direct sunlight, which will make them mushy and pulpy.

Cool ( between 45° and 60° ), dark, dry, well-ventilated stead 2 weeks : garlic, onions, potatoes, untrimmed winter squash with hard rinds. To reduce spoil, store onions and potatoes individually. Potatoes stored at strong temperatures will begin to sprout and shrivel, so use them within 1 workweek. A green tinge on potatoes is caused by long exposure to ignite cut or scrape it off before cooking. Refrigerating can cause potatoes to become sweet and become black when cooked.

Cooking Fresh Vegetables
Questions about cooking veggies ? Look no further than this comprehensive guidebook for buy, prepping and cook vegetables. For each vegetable, we ’ ve provided one or more cook options. You may want take a refresher class on these cooking methods in the section below.

Conventional Directions
Baking :
1. Preheat the oven.
2. stead vegetables in baking pan ( space vegetables in skin, such as potatoes, directly on oven scud ).
3. Bake. Directions will country whether to bake cover or uncover.

boil :
1. Heat 1 column inch water ( salted, if desired ) to boiling in saucepan, unless directed otherwise. Add vegetables.
2. estrus to boiling reduce heat to low.
3. Boil lightly ( simmer ). Directions will country whether to cook covered or uncovered.
4. drain.

Sautéing :
1. Heat butter, margarine, vegetable petroleum or olive oil in 10-inch frying pan over medium-high estrus. Add vegetables.
2. cook uncovered, stirring frequently.

steam :
1. place steamer basket in 1/2 inch water in saucepan or frying pan ( water should not touch buttocks of basket ). put vegetables in steamer basket.
2. Cover tightly and heat to boiling reduce heat to low.
3. steam.

Microwave Directions
1. Use microwavable casserole ( 1, 1 1/2 or 2 quart, or early size if given ), unless directed otherwise.
2. Add sum of water ( salted, if desired ) if given. Add vegetables. You ’ ll notice that for some vegetables, we direct you to cook them with good the water that clings to them from being rinsed no extra urine is necessary.
3. cover with eyelid, or cover with plastic envelop, folding fictile back 1/4 inch along one edge or corner to vent steam ( we refer to this as “ vent plastic wrapping ” in graph ).
4. Microwave on High, unless directed otherwise. Stir, rearrange or turn over vegetables once or doubly during cooking if directed to.
5. Vegetables continue to cook a short time after being microwaved. many vegetables call for a stand time after cook, which completes the cook and equalizes the temperature throughout the food. once you ’ ve microwaved vegetables a couple of times, determining how long to cook the vegetable before the stand prison term will become easier.
6. enfeeble.

Grilling Fresh Vegetables
Grilling takes vegetables beyond the ordinary. They pick up that fantastic smoky flavor of grill foods, their sugars caramelize and their colors deepen and brighten. For perfect grilled veggies every time, follow these simple steps :
1. Make your choice, then prep the veggies.
2. Grill the vegetables four to five inches from medium heat.
3. To prevent them from drying out, brush the veggies occasionally with mellow butter, margarine, olive oil, vegetable petroleum or your favored bottled or homemade dress.
4. The kind of grill you have and the weather can affect grill time.

From “ Betty Crocker ‘s Complete Cookbook, Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today, 9th version. ” Text Copyright 2000 General Mills, Inc. Used with license of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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