Seabreeze Family Farm member ingredients for May 19th and 20th, 2021

Please keep in mind that substitutions are sometimes necessary.

Cooking tips:

Do you remember when the standard for cooking vegetables was over-boiled, mushy green beans and broccoli that was olive green and limp?

These old-fashioned cooking techniques masked the true taste of vegetables.

Today, we know more about ways to preserve the flavors, colors and nutrients of vegetables.

Use the following list of cooking methods as a guide to help you decide how to best prepare each vegetable.

Steaming preserves more nutrients, flavor and texture than other cooking techniques. To properly steam, place vegetables in a steamer basket above boiling water. Tightly cover the pan to keep in the steam. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender. The most familiar type of steamer is the metal folding device that can accommodate most pot sizes. Many pasta pots come with steamer inserts that fit snugly. Chinese bamboo steamers are stacked, which enables you to steam many items at once. Steaming is most suitable for small quantities of vegetables, which ensures that the steam can easily reach each piece and can cook them evenly.

Blanching involves plunging vegetables into boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes, then quickly transferring them to ice water to stop the cooking process. Unlike prolonged boiling, this method preserves the color and texture of vegetables. Blanching makes hard vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and peppers crisp-tender.

Braising is a method of slowly cooking vegetables with only a small amount of liquid, which is then used as a sauce for the vegetable. The braising liquid is either broth or water enhanced for added flavor with chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic or herbs. The best pans for braising are a deep sauté pan with a lid, a heavy, wide casserole dish or a Dutch oven. Braising is best for long-cooking vegetables such as large pieces of carrots, potatoes or eggplant.

Stir-Frying is a very quick method of cooking vegetables. The heat is kept relatively high and the cut vegetables are tossed continuously over the heat until they are crisp-tender. To make sure all vegetables cook to the proper texture, vegetables should be cut relatively small. Also, cutting long vegetables such as carrots on the diagonal helps them cook faster. A wok is the traditional pan for stir-frying, but a heavy skillet will also work. Make sure the pan is hot or the food will absorb too much oil and will stick. You can also stir-fry using broth or nonstick spray.

Roasting is a favorite method to cook winter squash, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. The dry heat preserves their flavor better than steaming. Toss vegetables in a little oil or favorite dressing and then roast at 400 to 450 degrees until tender. It is best to roast vegetables in shallow baking pans. Vegetables should be placed in the baking pan in one layer. If the vegetables are too crowded, they will steam and produce excess moisture, thus diluting the roasted flavor.

Grilling brings out a slightly smoky flavor in certain vegetables. Sweet peppers, chilies, tomatoes, large mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn are good choices for grilling. Simply brush veggies with a little oil to prevent drying. Or marinate them in a favorite dressing prior to grilling. Any type of grill will work for grilling vegetables. Large pieces can be placed directly on the rack; use a vegetable basket or skewers for smaller pieces. Keep the temperature between medium and medium-high. Unlike grilled animal meats, researchers believe that grilled vegetables pose little risk of forming carcinogenic substances.