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Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables

How to shop for, prepare and cook healthy vegetables.

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.

8. Corn

Look for: Pale to dark green husks with moist silks; each ear should feel heavy to the hand, the cob filling the husk well.

Grill: Pull back the husks without removing them; pull out the silks. Replace the husks; soak the ears in water for 20 minutes. Preheat grill. Place corn (in husks) over high heat and grill, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove husks before serving.

Microwave: Husk corn and cut ears in thirds; place in a large glass baking dish or microwave-safe container. Cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 4 minutes.

Sauté: Remove kernels from cobs. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn kernels; cook, stirring constantly, until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1⁄2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar before serving.

Steam: Husk corn, then break or cut ears in half to fit in a steamer basket. Set over 2 inches of water in a large pot over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, about 4 minutes.

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