Here is a list of my favorite veggie preparations:
Sautéing is probably one of the cooking styles I use the most for vegetables. Not only is it the fastest, but I also think it’s the most flavorful. At a high level, sautéing is like stir-frying. I add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet or wok. On high heat, I add vegetables that are cut into fork-sized pieces. Cook for two minutes. Add a pat of butter, some minced garlic, four splashes of soy sauce & salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 4 – 5 more minutes or until your veggies start to brown. My favorite veggies to use for this are slices zucchini, quartered brussel sprouts, grape tomatoes, onions, asparagus and green beans. Use one or two of these, or a medley. Sometimes on grocery day, I will wash and clean all of my veggies that day, putting them in a big baggies. Then I will just scoop out what I want to saute for that night’s meal. It’s more work up front, but makes cooking dinner a lot easier.
My second favorite way to cook veggies is to roast them. I prefer more sturdy veggies for this. Things like butternut squash, potatoes, halved brussel sprouts and carrots are great for roasting. Things like broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, green beans and zucchini are great too. Just remember that they don’t take as long to cook at the other items. Preheat your over to 425 degrees. Cut or cube your veggies into bite-sized pieces. Potatoes take the longest to cook. In order to even out the cooking time, I poke my potato with a fork and microwave it for 90 seconds before cutting it up. This will ever-so-slightly par-cook your potato and make it easier to sync up the cooking time with things like brussels, carrots or squash. Next, drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil on your veggies. Add salt and pepper. I personally like adding some other herbs and spices like rosemary and garlic powder, but it’s really up to you. Toss your veggies to make sure they’re evenly coated with oil. Roast them on a foil-lined sheet pan for 30 – 35 minutes, tossing them around half way through your cooking time. (I personally use a little cooking spray on my foil, even through the veggie are tossed in oil to further prevent them from sticking). If you choose to roast zucchini, green beans, peppers or green beans, reduce your cooking time to 20 -22 minutes. If combining these faster cooking veggies with the ones that take longer, just add them to your pan 10 minutes later.
There are only a couple of vegetables I cook this way, potatoes and green beans.
Boiling little potatoes and then topping them with butter and herbs is an awesome and easy side dish. I like to buy the bags of little red or gold potatoes for this recipe. The ones that are golf ball-sized work nicely. Wash your potatoes well. Remember they come from the dirt. Leave the skin on and put them in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, covering them so that the water level is about 1 inch over the potatoes. Bring your pot to a boil. (having a pot with a lid makes this go more quickly) Once you have them at a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 18 – 20 minutes. To check and see if they’re done, poke them with a knife. The knife should slide in easily. Next, drain the water and add in 1/3 of a stick or butter to your pan. Add generous amounts of salt, pepper and the herbs of your choice. Again, garlic and rosemary are great here. Put your pan back on the stove on low heat. Melt your butter and gently stir your potatoes so that they get a nice coating.
The other veggie I like to “boil” is green beans. These are more of a slow cook than actually boiling, but I am including them here since they’re a veggie I cook submerged in water. Rather than rehash the process here, I am including the link. http://cafeleesa.com/country-green-beans/
Whether roasted or boiled, consider adding some grated Parmesan to your veggies once they’e out of the oven! Yum!