How to Steam Vegetables
There are numerous approaches to cooking flavorful veggies (including roasting and sautéing), but when you are pressed for time, nothing beats steaming! This cooking method is incredibly speedy, delightfully simple, and especially tasty since it brings out the fresh flavor of your favorite veggies. Plus, steaming retains more of the nutrients (compared to other cooking methods). If you’ve never steamed your vegetables before, it’s time to master this technique.
On the Stovetop:
- Include 1 or 2 inches of water to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
Set up your vegetables for cooking. After washing completely, cut vegetables into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Place your steaming basket (a specially designed tool that fits inside a pot and holds food only over the surface of the water) into the pot of water.
- Add your vegetables to the basket and cover.
- Cook until your vegetables reach the desired surface. Most vegetables generally require only 1 to 2 minutes of steaming since steam is even hotter than boiling water. If you like your veggies tender, cook a little longer; if you prefer crunchy veggies, cook for shorter periods. Be careful not to overcook, or you will end up with mushy veggies.
- Remove the vegetables from the heat. Carefully remove the lid (remember, the steam can consume your hand!) and serve immediately with fresh chopped herbs, For example, parsley.
In the Microwave:
- Set up your vegetables for cooking. After washing completely, cut vegetables into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Place vegetables in a large, microwave-safe bowl (a glass bowl, for example).
- Add water to cover your vegetables – the water should be shallow in the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with microwave-safe plastic wrap and turn over one corner to vent.
- Microwave on high for 4 to 8 minutes (depending on the thickness of vegetable) or until your veggies achieves the coveted consistency. Serve with fresh chopped herbs, for example, parsley.