Want Your Fresh Vegetables to Taste Delicious?
Many people don't enjoy vegetables at all, much less enjoy them to their fullest. But many people haven't really experienced fresh and well-prepared vegetables either. Most restaurants today just do not do vegetables justice, and often it is nearly impossible to order fresh vegetables, except in a side-salad.
People who dislike vegetables often don't like them for a combination of reasons. Sometimes the texture is off putting. This is a common result of using frozen or canned vegetables. Sometimes they find them to be smelly or bitter, and sometimes that is true. Some vegetables contain a higher concentration of sulfur, which makes them “smelly” to some people. Sometimes it is all three things that turn people off.
There are vegetables that are bitter. Bitter has its place in culinary circles by cutting heavy flavors and textures or by adding complexity to a dish. But not everyone enjoys those flavors. However, when really fresh vegetables are prepared properly, they are wonderful, complex and really satisfying in so many different ways.
Overcooked vegetables default to a flavorless, squishier, slimier, and grey mass. They don't smell as good, look as good, or taste as good as properly cooked vegetables. Tender-crisp vegetables, vegetables that are cooked until they are softened but nothing more, retain their colors, flavors, textures, and juices. They are cooked through and easy to bite but have most of their crispiness still intact.
Sautéing vegetables in a little healthy fat such as olive oil gives one the chance to caramelize them slightly, which sweetens them and adds flavor as well. It also gives the opportunity to add sesame seed (or a little sesame oil) or some nuts for crunch and extra punch. Green beans and almonds are a classic combination.
Roasting vegetables, and not just root vegetables, mellows them out and caramelizes them as well. Adding a little olive oil does a similar job to sautéing, adding caramelization. For smaller vegetables such as asparagus, sautéing is very quick and produces a tasty, healthy side for your favorite protein.
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