Steamed Stems & Stalks
For a simple, healthy and tasty vegetable preparation, you can steam any of the vegetables in the Stems, Stalks, Buds and Flowers section, using a steamer setup on the stove or even the microwave.
The same basic principle applies for most steamed vegetables, but most particularly in this section: DON'T OVERSTEAM. These veggies are extra-prone to bitterness and mushiness and all the bad things that were ever associated with Brussels sprouts in the world of children's literature. You want to steam until the vegetables are just tender (i.e. they can be easily speared by a fork but still retain their shape and structure) and they should be a bright vivid green (or a vivid version of whatever color they started - don't expect your white or orange cauliflower to turn green:).
To steam on the stove: set up a pot with a steamer insert, a steamer basket, bamboo steamers, or in a desperate moment, a heatsafe plate set on top of several crushed balls of aluminum foil. Add enough water around your steamer setup to a level just under the insert, then bring to a steady simmer. Add your trimmed and cleaned vegetables and cover. Depending on how thinly you've sliced your vegetables, steaming could take three to ten minutes, so check often and pull before the color starts to get murky and greenish-brown.
To steam in the microwave: this is way less precise, but doable in a pinch. Add your vegetables to a microwave-safe bowl with a few tablespoons of water in the bottom. Cover with a lid, plate or plastic wrap and cook on high for a minute. Test, then repeat in 30-second or 60-second increments (depending on how powerful your microwave is, and how comfortable you are with overcooked veg) until cooked to your liking, then drain and serve.
Season with salt and then serve right away with Herb Butter or Herby Green Sauce or Creamy Green Dip. Or serve with mayonnaise or aioli, or just extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. If you let cool (you can stop the cooking with an ice bath or cold running water if you want to make sure they don't overcook) and refrigerate, you can use them to build meals later in the week, like Grain Bowls or Fried Rice or really any Hero Recipes. Or freeze once cooled! My favorite way to eat steamed veggies? Tossed with a soy sauce and sesame oil and a splash of sriracha, over a bowl of freshly steamed rice. Enjoy!