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Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables

How to shop for, prepare and cook healthy vegetables.

If you want more fiber, nutrients and antioxidants in your diet—eat more vegetables! We know it’s tough to expand your vegetable vocabulary when you don’t know how to cook unfamiliar varieties, so we’ve compiled this cooking guide for 20 of our favorite vegetables. Click on a vegetable below to find grocery shopping tips, quick and easy preparation techniques and cooking methods to bring out the flavor of each vegetable. Start with 1 pound untrimmed raw vegetables. Download a FREE Healthy Vegetable Side Dish Recipe Cookbook!

12. Leeks

Look for: Long, thin stalks that do not bend and are not bruised; the outer layers should not be wrinkly or dried out.

Prep: Trim off the thick green leaves, leaving only the pale green and white parts; pull off damaged outer layers, leaving the root end intact. Split in half lengthwise. Under cold running water, fan out inner layers to rinse out grit and sand.

Braise: Place leeks in a large skillet with 1/2 cup vegetable (or chicken broth), 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 6 juniper berries and 6 black peppercorns). Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or cold with a vinaigrette dressing.

Grill: Preheat grill. Brush leeks with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place over direct, medium heat and grill, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Trim off root ends of leeks, slice in half crosswise and then into 1/4-inch-thick slices lengthwise. Spread on a baking sheet or pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, stirring once halfway through cooking, until browned and tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Sauté: Thinly slice leeks into half-moons. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened and very aromatic, about 5 minutes.

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