22 February 2009
Vegetables can be divided into three categories for cooking:
Green vegetables (grown above the ground).
Root vegetables (grown below the ground).
"Others" --- squash, tomatoes (which are actually a fruit), mushrooms, peppers, and aubergine.
Most vegetables may be blanched or steamed. Green vegetables are blanched in a large amount of already boiling, salted water, uncovered.
The only way of accurately telling when a vegetable is done is to test it as it cooks. Steaming (cooking above a boiling liquid, covered), generally takes up to twice as long as blanching.
Prepare any vegetable by cutting it into equal-sized pieces so that the cooking time for all pieces will be the same. As soon as it's cooked the vegetable should be sauced and eaten or, if blanched, refreshed and held, for reheating before eating.
Reheat by blanching, steaming, sautéing, etc., but for a shorter period of time: just until warm.