flavourful culinary Solutions

salad & vegetables

kitchen tips


  • Want a more flavourful salad? Make sure the lettuce is completely dry; it helps the dressing stick.
  • Sauté vegetables in broth instead of butter or oil. It's healthier, and you'll have crispy, seasoned vegetables without using heated, oxidized oil. Pour in just enough broth to cover the bottom of the pan, and cook, lid on, until tender.
  • Remove tough stems on leafy greens by pinching the stem and gently pulling off the leaves with your other hand.
  • When sautéing onions, add a pinch of baking soda. It speeds browning and cuts cooking time practically in half.
  • Plunge vegetables in ice water after blanching (boiling) them so they maintain a bright colour.
  • When tossing a salad with a basic vinaigrette, always make the vinaigrette at least 1/2 hour ahead of time and let the mixture sit to allow the flavours to marry. Pour the vinaigrette down the side of the bowl, not directly on the greens, for a more evenly dressed salad.
  • Boil vegetables for five or six minutes prior to using them in a recipe. This is particularly helpful for harder items such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower that take longer to cook. Otherwise you end up with vegetables that are too crunchy.
  • Give limp vegetables a second chance by soaking them in ice water to make them crisp after prolonged refrigeration. This is a great technique for lettuce and celery, which seem to go limp fastest. This trick also works for limp herbs.
  • Stir-fried veg are a quick and easy side dish option. You can also serve them over noodles or rice for a delicious meal. The secret to stir-frying is to have the pan or wok very hot and the veg cut into similar sized pieces so they cook evenly. Great choices are peppers, mushrooms, onions, carrots, snow peas and beans.
  • When cooking white vegetables, use a light coloured pot and add a pinch of sugar to keep the white colour and avoid yellowing.
  • There are lots of vegetables that can be roasted - carrots, potatoes, onions, peppers and squashes. For the best results, coat the vegetables evenly in oil and add seasonings before putting them in a non-stick roasting pan.
  • A great way to ensure they don’t stick (and to make cleanup easy) is to line your pan with parchment paper. Ensure that the vegetables are evenly distributed and not overlapping one another.
  • Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes, warmth does. Store tomatoes with stems pointed down and they will stay fresher, longer.
  • Ripen tomatoes overnight by putting your green tomatoes in a brown paper bag with an overripe banana. By the morning your green tomatoes will be red and ready to eat.
  • For tastier sautéed onions, add a few drops of honey to the pan after heating the oil or butter and before adding the onions. If you don’t have any honey, add some sugar on top of the onions once they start to soften. This is especially tasty if you’ll be using the onions on a pizza, steak or hamburger.
  • If you’ve only ever used iceberg lettuce to make salads, now is the time to branch out and try something new. Red and green leaf lettuces make an excellent – and healthier – alternative. To make the perfect salad, be sure to get yourself an inexpensive salad spinner.
  • Puréed vegetables makes an excellent thickener for sauces and stews. Consider pureeing your leftovers and freezing them in small plastic bags. Just be sure to heat thoroughly before adding to a hot sauce.
  • If you need only 1/2 an onion, save the root half. It will last longer.
  • To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
  • Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the crispness of french-fried potatoes.
  • To make lighter and fluffier mashed potatoes, add a pinch or two of baking powder to the potatoes before whipping.
  • Lettuce keeps better if you store in refrigerator without washing first so that the leaves are dry. Wash the day you are going to use.
  • Use paper bags instead of plastic bags to store lettuce and celery in the crisper. They will stay fresh longer.
  • To keep cauliflower white while cooking, add a little milk to the water.