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Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables

How to shop for, prepare and cook healthy vegetables.
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15. Spinach & Swiss Chard

Look for: Supple, deeply colored leaves without mushy spots.

Prep: Rinse thoroughly to remove sand; remove thick stems and shred leaves into 2-inch chunks. Rinse leaves again but do not dry.

Braise: Heat 2 teaspoons walnut oil (or canola oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach or chard and toss until wilted. Add 1⁄2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth. Cover, reduce heat and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or rice vinegar) over the greens.owned, 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.

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.

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