how to saute
Learn how to saute vegetables
Sauteed vegetables deserve to be a bigger part of your cooking repertoire. Sauteeing vegetables is a tasty way to add more veggies to your diet. Sauteed vegetables are beautiful on the plate, light and compliment just about any main dish that you can dream up ranging from grilled sirloin to a grilled burger.
Just imagine a plate with a steak grilled to perfection, sauteed mushrooms, and the perfect baked potato.
I don’t know about you but that is my perfect meal right there. The only thing missing is a side of crab or maybe a lobster tail.
People sometimes shy away from sauteeing vegetables because it seems intimidating but I promise you, it is one of the easiest things that you will ever do in the kitchen. With a few tips that we will provide you here, you will be a sauteeing pro in no time.
1: Pick the right pan.
The pan that you saute with can have quite an impact on how the process goes. It is best to use a non-stick pan that heats up evenly and has sloping sides.
Another terrific option is to use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. They heat up evenly and you can cook on a lower heat and therefore saute the vegetables much slower. If you choose this pan be sure to use plenty of olive oil or butter when sauteing.
We saute more often with our Le Creuset 12” non-stick skillet. It has sloping sides and heats evenly. But we also love to saute mushrooms in our cast iron skillet. The flavor profile that we get from that cast-iron skillet with the mushrooms is just lovely.
2. Heat the skillet first.
Sauteeing vegetables go much better if you heat the skillet before you add the vegetables. Adding veggies to a hot skillet keeps them from sticking and they start to sizzle the moment that you add them to the pan.
3. How you cut the vegetable matter
Whether you decided to cut your vegetable into dices or slices don’t really matter when you are sauteeing. Either way your dish will turn out fine.
What does matters is that you are consistent in the thickness of your slices or diced pieces? The more consistent that your sliced sweet potatoes are, for example, the more evenly that they will cook. If one piece is ½” thick and the others are ¾” thick the ½” thick piece is likely to burn before the thicker pieces are even done.
4. Some vegetables cook faster than others
If you decide that you would like to saute carrots with garlic, keep in mind that garlic only takes 2 minutes on average to saute. Carrots will take more time, perhaps even up to 10 minutes. Therefore in this scenario you should wait until your carrots are almost done before you add in the garlic. If you add the garlic in the last 2 minutes, your carrots will get that lovely garlic flavor without your garlic burning while you are trying to get those carrots sauteed.
How to saute vegetables
While each vegetable is different and unique, we thought that it may be helpful to walk through a general overview of how to saute vegetables here. Please click through on specific instructions on how to saute each specific vegetable.
Before you even get started with the steps below, take a moment to think about how you want to serve your sauteed vegetables. Do you want to cut them into diced pieces and add them to another dish such as a hash or just serve them diced perhaps? Do you want to cut them into slices and serve them that way? There is no wrong answer but it is important to consider.
Step 1: Always wash and dry your vegetables. It is important to wash even the veggies that you get from the grocery store. They may look nice and shiny but washing them fresh always helps get rid of any surface germs.
It is important to dry the vegetables because they saute better that way but it is also safer for cutting the vegetables up.
Step 2: Cup your vegetables into pieces of even thickness. No matter the shape that you choose cut them as evenly as possible.
Step 3: Heat up your skillet. Most vegetables should be sauteed at either medium or medium-high temperatures. Check each recipe listed below for specifics.
Step 4: After the pan is heated add in olive oil and the vegetable. Spread the vegetables out in the pan so that they don’t steam. Work in batches if you need to do so to allow plenty of room in the pan.
Step 5: Cook your vegetables, stirring occasionally.