Food - Drink
The Best Cooking Methods For Tender-Crisp Vegetables
By ERIN SHAW
Tender-crisp vegetables have a snappy texture and brilliant color, and they also retain nutrients that would be burned or boiled away if they were cooked to a higher level of doneness. Achieving the perfect combination of tenderness and crunch in your veggies is a simple endeavor, if you follow these cooking methods.
Blanching involves boiling vegetables in a pot of water for just a few minutes, then draining them and dropping them in an ice water bath to stop them from overcooking. To achieve tender-crisp veggies, fish out a piece from the pot every so often and shock it in the ice bath before tasting it, until you achieve the texture you want.
Another good, quick method is steaming, though you have to keep in mind that different veggies should be steamed for different durations. Veggies like spinach only take a couple of minutes to soften a bit, but still retain their bite, while root vegetables like carrots and turnips can be steamed for upwards of 15 minutes.
Sautéing is another way to achieve tender-crisp veggies. Cut the veggies into similar-sized pieces to ensure they cook evenly, then heat oil in a pan before cooking them in small batches; if you're cooking multiple varieties of veggies, add heartier ones first, followed by the more delicate ones, and don't sauté for too long.