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Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables

How to shop for, prepare and cook healthy vegetables.

11. Green Beans

Look for: Small, thin, firm beans.

Prep: Snip off stem ends.

Microwave: Place beans in a large glass baking dish. Add 1⁄4 cup broth (or water). Cover and microwave on High for 4 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Spread beans 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 10 minutes.

Sauté: Heat 2 teaspoons walnut oil in a large skillet. Add beans; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Steam: Place beans in a steamer basket over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.

12. Leeks

Look for: Long, thin stalks that do not bend and are not bruised; the outer layers should not be wrinkly or dried out.

Prep: Trim off the thick green leaves, leaving only the pale green and white parts; pull off damaged outer layers, leaving the root end intact. Split in half lengthwise. Under cold running water, fan out inner layers to rinse out grit and sand.

Braise: Place leeks in a large skillet with 1⁄2 cup vegetable (or chicken broth), 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 6 juniper berries and 6 black peppercorns). Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or cold with a vinaigrette dressing.

Grill: Preheat grill. Brush leeks with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place over direct, medium heat and grill, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Trim off root ends of leeks, slice in half crosswise and then into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices lengthwise. Spread on a baking sheet or pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, stirring once halfway through cooking, until browned and tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Sauté: Thinly slice leeks into half-moons. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened and very aromatic, about 5 minutes.

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