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Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables

How to shop for, prepare and cook healthy vegetables.

6. Carrots

Look for: Orange, firm spears without any gray, white or desiccated residue on the skin. The greens should preferably still be attached.

Prep: Peel; cut off greens.

Microwave: Cut carrots into 1⁄8-inch-thick rounds. Place in a large glass baking dish or pie pan. Add 1⁄4 cup broth (or white wine). Cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 3 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut carrots in half lengthwise then slice into 1 1⁄2-inch-long pieces. 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 beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.

Sauté: Cut carrots into 1⁄8-inch-thick rounds. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add carrots; stir and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon sugar; stir until glazed.

Steam: Cut carrots into 1⁄8-inch thick rounds. Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam for 4 minutes.

7. Cauliflower

Look for: Tight white or purple heads without brown or yellow spots; the green leaves at the stem should still be attached firmly to the head, not limp or withered.

Prep: Cut into 1-inch-wide florets; discard core and thick stems.

Braise: Place florets in a large skillet with 1⁄2 cup dry white wine and 1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seeds. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Microwave: Place florets in a large glass baking dish. Add 1⁄4 cup dry white wine (or dry vermouth). Cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 4 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Spread florets 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 beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.

Steam: Place florets in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.

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