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Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables

How to shop for, prepare and cook healthy vegetables.

3. Beets continued...

Microwave: Cut beets into 1⁄4-inch-thick rings; place in a large glass baking dish or pie pan. Add 1⁄4 cup water, cover tightly and microwave on High for 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut beets into 1 1⁄2-inch chunks. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender, about 30 minutes.

Sauté: Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Grate beets into the pan using the large-hole side of a box grater. Add
1 minced garlic clove. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add 1⁄3 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.

Steam: Cut beets into quarters. Place in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Broccoli

Look for: Sturdy, dark-green spears with tight buds, no yellowing and a high floret-to-stem ratio.

Prep: Cut off florets; cut stalks in half lengthwise and then into 1-inch-thick half-moons.

Microwave: Place stems and florets in a large glass baking dish. Cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 4 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender and browned in places, about 10 minutes.

Steam: Place stems in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water (with 1 tablespoon lemon juice added to it) in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam for 2 minutes. Add florets; cover and continue steaming until tender, about 5 minutes more.

5. Brussels Sprouts

Look for: Tight, firm, small deep-green heads without yellowed leaves or insect holes. The sprouts should preferably still be on the stalk.

Prep: Peel off outer leaves; trim stem.

Braise: Place sprouts and 1 cup dry white wine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and braise until tender, about 7 minutes. Remove sprouts with a slotted spoon; increase heat to high, add 1 teaspoon butter and reduce liquid to a glaze. Pour over sprouts.

Microwave: Place sprouts in a large glass baking dish. Add 1⁄4 cup broth (or water), cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 6 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut sprouts in half. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until browned and tender, about 20 minutes.

Steam: Place sprouts in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

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