The trick to perfectly sautéed vegetables is to cook them quickly in a very hot pan with a tiny bit of oil.
A quick, high-heat sauté is one of the easiest, fastest, and most delicious ways to cook any kind of vegetable.
The trick to perfectly sautéed veggies is to slice them uniformly and then cook them quickly in a very hot pan with a minimal amount of oil.
Cooking vegetables over low heat, or cooking them too long in too much oil, results in soft soggy vegetables. For bright veggies that are tender-crisp, cook them quickly in a very hot pan, using the minimum amount of oil necessary to keep them from sticking.
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- 2 cups broccoli
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lemon (optional)
- Wash, peel (if necessary), and slice vegetables into uniform pieces. The shape and size of the slices depend on what you like and what you're using them for. Red peppers and carrots, for example, can be sliced into pieces 1 inch thick, or into pieces the size of matchsticks. Slice them however you like, just remember that the smaller they are, the shorter the cooking time.
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan or wok over high heat until the oil is just beginning to smoke. Add the vegetables to the hot pan. You should be able to spread the vegetables into an even layer across the bottom of the pan so that each piece is touching the pan. If they are stacked on top of each other, there are too many in the pan at once. If necessary, cook the vegetables in batches.
- Use a wooden spoon, spatula, or tongs to toss the vegetables around in the hot oil for a few seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to toss until they are crisp-tender and blackening in spots. This will happen very quickly - especially if you're working with small pieces. Have a fork ready beside the pan so that you can quickly remove one piece and bite into it to test.
- Immediately remove from the pan to a plate or serving platter. Repeat with any remaining veggies.
- If desired, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the cooked vegetables and toss them around to coat. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
If sautéing several different kinds of vegetables, cook each type separately. Vegetables like red peppers will take longer to cook than very thin asparagus. Cooking them separately will allow you to control the cook time for each.
Serving Size:½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 53Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g