Vegetable Artichoke - Celery

 
 
 

Globe Artichoke

Whole Globe artichokes are prepared for cooking by removing all but 5-10 mm or so of the stem, and cutting away about a quarter of each "leaf" with scissors. This removes the thorns that interfere with handling the leaves when eating. Then, the artichoke is boiled or steamed until tender, about

15-45 minutes. If boiling, salt can be added to the water, if desired.

The leaves are pulled off one by one from the tight rosette dipped in some kind of sauce, perhaps butter & lemon, mayonnaise or vinaigrette. The dipped soft part is then pulled off with the teeth and all the rest of the leaf discarded.

A knife is used to remove the thistle (the immature florets); the whole top layer of delicate feathery growth crowning the heart. It is this central top of the stem that supports the rosette that is sold cut up, pickled and bottled as "artichoke hearts".

Asparagus

Keep fresh asparagus clean, cold and covered. Trim the stem end about 1/4 inch and wash in warm water several times. Pat dry and place in moisture-proof wrapping. Refrigerate and use within 2 or 3 days for best quality.

To prepare, wash under cool running water and trim an inch from the stem end. Use a vegetable peeler to peel an inch or two off the bottom end, if desired. The peelings can be added to the cooking water which, can be refrigerated and reused.

Asparagus can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted or incorporated into casseroles and salads.

Snap Bean

There approximately 130 varieties of Snap beans. Varieties specialized for use as green beans, selected for the succulence and flavor of their pods, are the ones usually grown in the home vegetable garden, and a myriad of varieties exist. Pod color can be green, golden, purple, red, or streaked.

Shapes range from thin fillet types to wide Romano types and more common types in between. French Haricot verts (green beans) are bred for flavorful pods.

Shell Bean

The pinto bean is named for its mottled skin, hence it is a type of mottled bean.

It is the most common bean in the United States and northwestern Mexico , and is most often eaten whole in broth or mashed and refried. Either whole or mashed, it is a common filling for burritos. The young pods may

also  be used as green beans.

In the Southwest United States, the pinto bean is an important symbol of regional identity, especially among Mexican Americans. Along with the chili, it is one of the official state vegetables of New Mexico (under the name frijol).

Beet

Look for firm, small to medium-size beets (up to 3 inches in diameter). The outside may be rough, but should be dry and tight.

Wash under running water to remove any trace of dirt, dry on paper towel. Leave 1 inch of tops on the beet when cooking or they will bleed and you

will loose their beautiful red color. After a few minutes in boiling water the skins will slip right off.

Cooked beets are tasty in cold salads with vinaigrette, harvest beets or most peoples favorite pickled beets. The beet tops may also be cleaned and cooked like spinach.

Broccoli

Select heads that have tight and compact bud clusters with an even dark color. The stems should be a lighter green than the buds and easy to pierce with a fingernail. Avoid stalks with yellowed or open bud clusters and stems that are hard and dry. Broccoli can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Before use, clean by rinsing well in water.

Use raw in salads, stews, stir fry, or served alone with a white or cheese sauce.

Brussels Sprout

Look for fresh, green color with no sign of yellowing. The heads should be dense and firm, the leaves unwilted. Smaller ones are said to have the best flavor.

Soak in cold water and drain before using. Remove any discolored or damaged outer leaves and trim stem ends. Scoring the bottom lightly with an "X"

will promote even cooking.

They may be steamed, boiled, microwaved or stir-fried. Don't cook too long - it's important to stop the cooking process before you can detect a sulphurous smell.
Serve with a white or cheese sauce.

Cabbage

Purchase well-trimmed heads, heavy for size and solid. Crisp leaves and the stem end dry. Avoid broken, yellowed or heads with wilted leaves.

Cole Slaw is the most popular use of cabbage, however, it adds flavor when used in used is soups, stews. Fried cabbage and cabbage rolls are add a

new variety to this under used vegetable. The use of red cabbage will brighten any salad.

Carrots

Long and short best describes the carrots available. They should have bright orange-gold color and be well shaped. If the tops are attached, the leaves should be bright green and fresh looking.

Carrots will keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag up to 10 days. Remove green tops before storing as

they will reduce the carrots shelf life.

Carrots can be eaten raw, whole, chopped or shaved into salads for color, and are also often chopped and cooked in soups and stews. One can also make carrot cake and carrot pudding. The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are rarely eaten.

Cauliflower

Select clean, firm, compact heads that are white or creamy white. Any leaves that remain should be green and crisp. Avoid heads with major spots, speckles, bruises, or loose, open floret clusters. Some stores also sell packaged florets that have been trimmed off the head, and these, too, should be free of bruises or spots.

 

Refrigerate cauliflower in the crisper, where it will keep for up to five days If the head is unwrapped, store it in an open or

perforated plastic bag. Keep the head stem-side up to prevent moisture from collecting on top.

First, trim the cauliflower: Pull off any outer leaves and cut off the protruding stem end close to the head. If you find that the florets have started to turn brown at the edges, trim off these areas. To prepare florets, slice off the florets around the inner core. Split any larger florets in half and slice up the inner core pieces.

Celery

As a salad plant, celery, especially if at all "stringy", is difficult to digest. Celery has 'negative calories', as the effort to consume it burns more calories than it contains.

Both blanched and green it is stewed and used in soups, the seeds also being used as a flavoring ingredient. Even after long immersion in broth, the stalks remain somewhat crisp, and are useful for adding texture to the soup.

 

Chopped, it is one of the three vegetables considered the

holy trinity of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. It is also one of the three vegetables (together with onions and carrots) that constitute the French mirepoix, which is often used as a base for sauces and soups.

Artichoke - Celery  Collards - Onion  Parsnips - Turnips

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  Cooking Notes 2006