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5. Brussels Sprouts

Look for: Tight, firm, small deep-green heads without yellowed leaves or insect holes. The sprouts should preferably still be on the stalk.

Prep: Peel off outer leaves; trim stem.

Braise: Place sprouts and 1 cup dry white wine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and braise until tender, about 7 minutes. Remove sprouts with a slotted spoon; increase heat to high, add 1 teaspoon butter and reduce liquid to a glaze. Pour over sprouts.

Microwave: Place sprouts in a large glass baking dish. Add 1⁄4 cup broth (or water), cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 6 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut sprouts in half. Spread 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 browned and tender, about 20 minutes.

Steam: Place sprouts in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

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.

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