Vegetable Facts Refers to any herbacious plant that can be partially or wholly eaten. Portions we eat include leaves, stems, roots, tubers, seeds & flowers. Vegetables contain more starch and less sugar than fruits. That is why veggies tend to be savory, not sweet. Unlike fruits, vegetables are most often eaten cooked, not raw.
Brassica or cabbage family, used for their heads, flowers or leaves. Quick growing, cool- weather crops. Inexpensive & easy to prepare. Types Include: – Bok Choy – Broccoli – Brussels Sprouts – Cauliflower – Head Cabbages – Kale – Kohlarabi – Savoy
Bok Choy: Also pok choy, white stemmed variety of southern Chinese Cabbage. Description: Tightly packed leaves are dark green, with long white ribs attached at a bulbous stem. Stalks are crisp and mild with a flavor similar to romaine lettuce. Uses: most often stir fried or used in soups. Select: choose bright white stalks and dark green leaves, avoid brown, moist spots. Available: All year round Broccoli: a type of flower, has a thick central stalk with grayish leaves topped with more heads of green florets. Uses: Can be eaten raw or steamed, microwaved or sautéed and served warm or cold. Benefit from blanching. Stems are used for slow-cooked for soups. Leaves are not used. Select: Choose firm stalks with compact clusters of tightly closed dark green florets. Avoid stalks w/ yellowish flowers. Available all year round. Bok Choy Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts: cultivated around 1700. Numerous small heads arranged in rows along a thick stalk. Similar to baby cabbage. Uses: steamed, roasted, sautéed & blanched. Nutty flavor pairs well with game, ham, duck or rich meats. Select: ¾ “ – 1 ½ “ in diameter. Should be bright green & free of blemishes. Season: September – February Cauliflower: king of the cabbage family. Each stalk produces one flower or head surrounded by large green leaves. Uses: Steamed, grilled, gratin & sauteed Select: Firm compact heads. Any attached leaves should be bright green and crisp. A yellow color or spreading florets indicate that the vegetable is overly mature. Season: Available all year round. Best from fall through spring. Brussels sprouts Cauliflower
Head Cabbages: has been a staple of northern European cuisine for centuries. Has a large head with tightly packed pale green leaves. Flat & coned shapes = avail. Uses: eaten raw or in soups & stews; braised, steamed or stir-fried. Leaves can be steamed until soft, then wrapped around a filling of seasoned meat. Select: heads w/o dried cores. Season: Available all year. Kale: has a large ruffled, curly or bumpy leaves. Its rather bitter flavor goes well with rich meats such as game, pork or ham. Uses: Boiled, stuffed or used in soups Select: choose leaves that are crisp, w/ grayish-green color. Season: Available all year round. Peak season during the winter months. Facts: Ornamental or flowering kale, sometimes marketed as “savoy” & edible. Green & Red Cabbage Kale
Napa Cabbage Kohlrabi Kohrabi: looks like a round root, actually a bulbous stem created by crossbreeding cabbage & turnip. Leaves & roots generally removed before sale. Description: Skin may be light green, purple or green w/ a hint of red. Interior = white, w/ a sweet flavor of turnips. Uses: eaten raw or it can be cooked (whole, sliced or diced) w/ moist-heat cooking methods such as boiling and steaming. Can be hollowed and filled meat or veg. mixture Select: small tender stems & fresh green leaves. Season: June through September Napa Cabbage: also = Chinese cabbage and widely used in Asian cuisines. Stout, elongated head w/ tightly packed, firm, pale green leaves. More tender than others. Uses: eaten raw, well suited for stir-frying or steaming. Select: heads that are loose or tight, w/ tender unblemished leaves. Season: Peak season, August through the spring.
Botanists classify avocados, eggplants, peppers & tomatoes as fruits b/c they develop from the ovary of flowering plants & contain more seeds. Chefs prepare like vegetables.
Step 1: Cut the avocado in ½ lengthwise. Separate the 2 halves with a twisting motion Step 2: Insert a chef knife into the pit and twist & remove. Step 3: Scoop out the flesh with a large spoon
Eggplants are filled w/ cells that contain water & are surrounded by tiny air pockets. Heat will squeeze the air out of the pockets. If the eggplant has not been salted, oil is free to seep into these pockets & eggplant becomes soggy when fried. When the eggplant is sprinkled w/ salt, it draws the water out of the cells. The cells collapse, which makes the pockets collapse. As a result no air can seep into the tiny pockets during the frying process. Salt slices over paper towel and let the water continue to drain for 30 minutes. Can grill, sauté, bake or fry
Members of the capsicum family. Chile peppers get their heat from capsaicin, which is found in the seeds & placental ribs. Smaller, hotter it is Demonstrate Julienne, peppers & de-rib hots Can be baked or sautéed
Step 1: Roast the pepper over an open flame until completely charred. Step 2: Place the pepper in a plastic bag or in a bowl covered in plastic to sweat for a few min., then remove the skin w/ your paring knife by scraping the skin & seeds.
1: With a paring knife, mark an x on the bottom of the tomato just deep enough to penetrate the skin. 2: Blanch the tomato in boiling water for 20 sec; refresh the ice water. 3: Using a paring knife, cut out the core and peel the tomato. 4: cut the tomato in ½ horizontally and spoon out the seeds & juice. 5: Chop or dice the tomato as desired for the recipe.
The gourd family includes 750 species; found in warm regions worldwide. Large root systems, w/ quick growing trailing vines & large leaves. Flowers are often attractive and edible. Squashes are classified by winter or summer. Filled w/ many seeds. Eaten raw, dipped in batter and deep- fried or filled w/ cheese or meat & baked.
Chayote: known as the merliton or vegetable pear, staple throughout central America. Description: Light green skin and paler green flesh. Single white edible seed in the center. Starchy and very bland usually combined w/ flavorful ingredients. Uses: eaten raw, flavor and texture benefit from roasting, steaming, sautéing or grilling. Select: have a well colored skin w/ few ridges. Avoid soft spots or bruises. Season: late fall and winter Cucumbers: 2 categories; pickling & slicing. Both are not interchangeable. Pickling = bitter Uses: eaten raw, in salads or mixed w/ yogurt and dill mint & great w/ spicy dishes b/c of refreshing quality. Select: choose firm but not hard. Avoid limp or yellowed or have soft spots. Season: Available all year round, peak season = April through October. Chayote Cucumbers
Winter Squashes: include acorn, banana, butternut, Hubbard, pumpkin & spaghetti Description: They have hard skins and seeds, neither of which are generally eaten. Flesh is removed before or after cooking, tends to be sweeter and more strongly flavored than the summer squash. Uses: rarely eaten raw, baked, roasting, steaming, sautéing or pureed for soups or fillings. Season: October through March Butternut Squash Acorn Squash Banana Squash
Summer Squashes: includes patty pan, yellow crookneck and zucchini varieties. Description: They have soft edible skins. Uses: can be eaten raw, suitable for grilling, steaming, sautéing or baking. Season: Available all year round. Peak season is April through September. Patty pan Squash Zucchini Yellow Squash
Refers to a variety of leafy green vegetables that may be served raw, but are rarely cooked. Greens have been long used in India, Asia & the Mediterranean & important part of regional cuisine in Southern United States Have an extremely high water content, which means cooking causes drastic shrinkage. Rule allow 8 oz (250g) per portion before cooking. Choose tender greens with a good color and no limpness. Avoid dry or yellow leaves. Available all year. Best in November through June.
Mushrooms & Truffles Mushrooms Lgst. Cultivated mushroom is the portabella, which are an overgrown crimini Wild mushrooms are gathered and sold by specialty purveyors. They are spread around the world through air currents, the same item may be found in several areas Mushrooms are cultivated or gathered from the wild have a stronger earthy or nutty flavor than cultivated, and should be cooked before eating. Available fresh, canned or dried. Mushrooms are composed of up to 80% water, dried products are often the most economical, even though they cost $100 ‘s per pound. Rehydrate for 10-20 min. Should be dusted and rinsed for dirt before using. Truffles Tubers that grow near the roots of oak or beech trees. Cultivated only to the extent that oak groves are planted to encourage truffle growth. 2 varieties, P é rigord (black) and Piedmontese (white). Fresh truffles are gathered in the fall and are rarely marketed outside their locale. White ones have strong aroma and flavor. Only need a little bit to garnish soups, sauces and pasta. Black truffles are often used as a garnish or to flavor pates, terrines or egg dishes. Truffles can cost several 100’s $ per/lb., most kitchens purchase canned, dried or processed.
Mushrooms are members of a broad category of plants known as fungi. (Fungi have no seeds, stems or flowers; they produce through spores). They have a stalk w/ an umbrella-like top. Although not a vegetable, mushrooms are used in the same manner as vegetables. PortabellaMorels Black Trumpet Porcini Shitake Oyster Truffles
Procedure for Soaking Dried Beans 1.Pick through the dried beans and remove any grit, pebbels or debris. 2.Place the beans in a bowl and cover with cold water; remove any skins or other items that float to the surface. 3.Drain the beans in a colander, then rinse under cold running water. 4.Return the beans to a bowl and cover with fresh cold water. Allow 3 cups H2O for each cup of beans. 5.Soak the beans in the cold water for the time specified in the recipe, usually several hours or overnight. Drain through a colander, discarding the water
1.Rinse & pick through the beans 2.Place the beans in a saucepan and add enough cool water to cover them by 2” 3.Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 min. 4.Remove from the heat, cover and soak for 1 hour. 5.Drain and discard the soaking liquid. Proceed with the recipe.
Most veggies are more than 80% water; the remaining portions contain carbohydrates (primarily starches) and small amounts of protein & fat. Lack of protein makes them low in calories Good source of vitamins and minerals. Be careful during preparation to preserve their nutritional content. Once peeled or cut, vegetables lose nutrients to the air to any liquid they are allowed to soak. Vitamins are concentrated under the skin, so peel thinly, if at all.
USDA voluntary grading system for fresh vegetables traded System is based on appearance, condition and other factors affecting waste or eating quality 4 Grades = in descending order of quality – U.S. Extra Fancy – U.S. Fancy – U.S. Fancy #1 – U.S. # 1