How to cook vegetables: technique, tools—and ingredients
How to Cook Vegetables: What’s in Your Kitchen?
When cooking fresh vegetables, here are the first two things to consider: techniques and tools. In a previous post, Chef Jamie Simpson from the Culinary Vegetable Institute shared vegetable cooking techniques that are ideal for a home kitchen—and, in this post, he’s focusing on recommended tools.
“The goal,” Jamie says, “is to have a functional, versatile, organized home kitchen that includes the tools you need.” Because he favors a minimalistic approach, he doesn’t like single-use tools—because that means you’d need to have a whole lot more of them.
Because so many cooking techniques and recipes involve chopping, he recommends a good cutting board, one that doesn’t slide around as you’re using it. While prepping and cooking, he uses a chef work shirt and apron, and he keeps blue shop towels—the kind available from hardware stores—nearby for cleanup.
Next up are a couple of sheet trays of the same size. “If you have ones of differing sizes,” he says, “they won’t stack well. I also keep a box of precut parchment paper that fits the trays within the same reach as the trays themselves. By using them, the trays always stay in nice shape and you can just rinse or wipe them off when done.”
Specific cooking tools that he recommends include:
- Carbon blade peeler
- Cake tester
- Offset spatula
- Bowl scraper
- Microplane blade
- Japanese mandoline
- Small paring knife
As far as pots and pans, Jamie suggests having a couple of small saucepots, enameled braising pans, and a big cast iron pan. He keeps the last item on the stove and doesn’t wash it. As needed, he scrapes it out and, if it needs more, he burns it out.
As far as small kitchen appliances he recommends:
- Food processor
Here are three more items:
- Keep a container of salt within easy reach.
- A bain-marie—something that chefs use to keep sauces warm—can be placed by the stove. “I use mine,” he says, “to keep my antique and other out-of-spec spoons that don’t fit in a drawer organized. I use these spoons for stirring, scooping, and tasting.”
- Reusable containers are a must. “I have 40 to 50 of them, stacked in a drawer. Some are pint sized and, the others, quart sized, each using the same size lid.”
The best cooking tools and techniques, of course, won’t provide the most flavorful dishes without the use of quality ingredients. Fortunately, you can have farm-fresh vegetables delivered directly to your front door through Farmer Jones Farm.
The entire farm team puts an extreme focus on providing delicious and nutritious regeneratively farmed products to home cooks. With our Best of the Season Box, as just one example, our farmer’s market delivery box may contain a mix of fresh lettuce and greens, a mix of root crop, potatoes, cruciferous, sweet potatoes, and the best micro greens and herbs. It depends upon the season, with seasonal favorites added when available.
With Farmer Jones Farm, the agricultural food chain is transparent and easily traceable. Our team hand-harvests exactly what you need, shipping overnight to ensure the freshest, most vibrant, and flavorful produce available.
This is Farmer Jones Farm’s efficiently shipped Earth to Table® promise that ensures ultimate freshness, incredible flavor, and prolonged shelf-life. Enjoy your veggies!
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