Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables
How to shop for, prepare and cook healthy vegetables.
16. Squash, Acorn
Look for: Green, orange or white varietals with firm, smooth skins and no spongy spots.
Prep: Cut in quarters and scoop out the seeds.
Braise: Place squash in a pot with 2 cups unsweetened apple juice. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Microwave: Place squash in a large glass baking dish; add 1⁄2 cup water. Cover and microwave on High for 15 minutes; let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
17. Squash, Delicata
Look for: Small, firm squash with bright yellow or orange skins that have green veins branching like lightning through them.
Microwave: Place squash in a large glass baking dish or microwave-safe bowl with 1⁄4 cup broth (or water). Cover tightly and microwave on High for 10 minutes.
Prep: Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and slice into thin half-moons (peeling is optional).
Sauté: Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squash slices; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in a pinch of grated nutmeg before serving.
Steam: Place squash slices in a steamer basket over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
18. Squash, Summer & Zucchini
Look for: No breaks, gashes or soft spots; smaller squash (under 8 inches) are sweeter and have fewer seeds; do not peel, but scrub off any dirt.
Prep: Cut off stem ends.
Grill: Cut squash lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch strips. Preheat grill; brush strips lightly with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place over direct, medium heat; grill, turning once, until marked and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut squash lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. 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 10 minutes.
Sauté: Cut squash into 1⁄4-inch-thick rings. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove and squash; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 7 minutes.
Steam: Cut squash into 1⁄2-inch-thick rings. Place in a steamer basket with a small onion, thinly sliced. Place over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
19. Sweet Potatoes
Look for: Taut if papery skins with tapered ends.
Braise: Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large skillet with 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon honey and 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme. Bring to a simmer over high heat; reduce heat, cover and cook until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, increase heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 2 minutes.