Steam Powered Vegetables

I told you in a recent post that I was devouring a new cookbook I received for Christmas, insert foodie joke here, and I am so excited to share this recipe with you. It is a total game changer! Not only that, but you will save a ton of time too! Look out kids, we are talking about vegetables! Now, insert your most haunting music here as well. A few claps of thunder and a gusty wind would be a nice touch as well. However, I digress.

What if you had a way to cook perfect green beans, broccoli, celery, corn, and so many others every time without a single pot or pan?? It is true. You can have perfect vegetables and you already have everything you need in your house.  I was astounded when I read this recipe from “The Food Lab” by Kenji Lopez-Alt. Again, I am receiving no compensation for talking about his cookbook and this is his recipe, however, this is such a great guide for all things food. I am learning so much valuable information that I’m trying to apply in my day to day cooking. You can easily find this in your favorite online book store in whatever format suits you the best. In fact, my brother, refers to this book as, “The cooking bible.”

The great part of this recipe is that is so simple and quick. Oh, maybe now is a good time to mention that you are using your microwave to cook these vegetables. As crazy as the idea sounds it is a perfect tool for the job. You are just using the high heat of the microwave to take the vegetables out of their state of rawness and into a state of cooked perfection. It is that simple. Ready? Here we go!!

Micro-Steamed Vegetables
Recipe is from “The Food Lab” by Kenji Lopez Alt and adapted by me.
8 ounces Asparagus, tough bottoms trimmed off, stalks peeled if desired
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Place the asparagus in an even layer on a large microwave-save plate and season with salt and pepper.

Lay a triple layer of damp paper towels on a top of the asparagus, completely covering them, or cover them with a clean damp kitchen towel.

Microwave on high power until the asparagus is a bright green and tender but still crisp, 2 1/2 to 6 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.

Remove the asparagus and arrange.

That simple. Boom!
For any other vegetable you just repeat the same process! You won’t spend more than 6 minutes making veg again! Well, unless you are feeding a small army then it may take a little more time. To tell if they are done just pierce them with a fork. If you get little resistance then you are ready to go. If not, taste them to make sure you are happy with their doneness level.
I have done broccoli, asparagus, and green beans this way with much success!! On a couple of occasions I have had asparagus where the stalks are the width of those little decorative pipe cleaners, Those tend to cook in about 90 seconds or so in my experience where the slightly larger ones can take up to just over 2 minutes.
If you aren’t serving them as soon as they come out of the microwave, then leave them covered until you are ready to serve. The paper towels will help hold heat and keep your veggies warm. Also, if you want to add a little more flavor you can add a little butter or olive oil before serving the veggies. Heck, a little red pepper flake or a dusting of garlic powder could be solid choices as well.
In order to save on dishes and work, I use the same plate that I just steamed the veg on as my dinner plate. It makes life so much nicer. Just try it!  The dishwasher in your house will appreciate it.
Let me know what you think of this recipe by sending me an email or commenting on the post. Can’t wait to read your experiences! Enjoy!

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