I’m always happy to discover some cooking technique that somehow got lost in the shuffle in our foodie-crazed world full of all things trendy, molecular and gastronomic.
They’re usually super-easy why-didn’t-I-think-of-that kinds of tricks that can easily transform your cooking; like adding plenty of salt to boiling water before dropping food into it or adding a bit of lemon juice to a sauce or soup to make the flavor pop.
Glazing vegetables is one technique to add to your repertoire; simply by quickly steaming vegetables in a little bit of water, sugar and butter elevates their gorgeous color and heightens the sweet flavor of tender, fresh seasonal produce.
Glazed Spring Vegetables
4 cups assorted baby or small vegetables such as carrots, radishes, asparagus, fennel, zucchini or turnips
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Peel, trim and slice each of the vegetables as needed depending on what you have. I like to peel baby carrots while keeping them whole, trim asparagus into 2-inch lengths, thinly slice fennel and half or quarter radishes and turnips so everything cooks evenly at the same time.
Pile the vegetables into a medium (8 or 10-inch) skillet. Add the butter, sugar, salt and water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Immediately cover the pan and cook about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are brightly colored and crisp-tender and most of the water has evaporated and combined with the butter to make a syrupy glaze. If you find the vegetables are done before the liquid is reduced, scoop them out and cook the juices to a glaze before adding back to the vegetables.
side dish, spring vegetable, vegetarian
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