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Boiling vegetables


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I have a simple question.

Many recipes state : cook vegetables (carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli ...) in salted boiling water. But how much salt ?

I have read concentration as little as 5 per thousand (1 teaspoon salt per liter water). However Harold Mc Gee recommends "salt in the cooking water at about the concentration of seawater, 3 %". This is a big difference.

What is the correct concentration ?

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I have always been told seawater concentration ...or so can actually tast salt in the water.


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers


Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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I never ever boil vegetables. I steam them using a metal insert made especially for the purpose. You can always add S&P after they're steamed. By this means you also retain more of the vegetable's nutrients, because when boiling, the nutrients are in constant contact with the boiling water and it leaches them out. Steaming cooks the vegetables with minimal loss of natural nutrients.

I think the texture is better by steaming also. I also think you end up using less salt (sodium) this way, which in the long run is much more heart healthy.

Just my opinion.


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I never ever boil vegetables.  I steam them using a metal insert made especially for the purpose.  You can always add S&P after they're steamed. 

I have a method which is kind of half way between steaming and boiling which I use for vegetables that cook quickly, and/or those for which I want to retain a bit of 'bite'. So that means things such as green beans, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, etc.

Basically, I don't have a metal insert, such as deltadoc refers to (well, I think I did once, but could never be bothered with it). I simply place the veg in a pan, scatter salt over (I know the question is about how much salt, but I never measure it, I just scatter, sorry) then pour over a very small quantity of water, so that it comes up to a depth of about half a centimetre. Then I put on the lid and turn on the heat.

After a few minutes I check to see that all the water isn't gone - and add a drop more if necessary, but it usually isn't - and turn everything over to make sure it cooks evenly. The amount of water I drain off is minimal - sometimes draining isn't even necessary - so I'm not pouring much, if any, veggy goodness (or flavour) down the sink.

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