Recipe for Perfect Green Veggie Sautee

This recipe also appears in my blog entry: EAT MORE - WEIGH LESS!

For quick and tasty (and not overcooked!) sautéed kale, broccoli, green beans, sweet peas, snow peas.
1 cast iron skillet
Green veggie of choice (broccoli, snow peas, kale, rapini, etc.)
High quality salt (i.e. Himalayan or other mineral salt)
1 1/2 Tbsp of water

Get the empty skillet good and hot, but not too hot to the point of smoking.
Transfer the broccoli or kale into the hot pan, quickly add about a tablespoon of water (if the water is already hot, even better), and close the lid.  For best and most consistent results, don't overfill the pan.

The idea is to steam the veggies quickly at high heat. For broccoli, green beans and peas, this means they will come out just barely tender and bright green - not mushy and gray. For kale it means the leaves are tender, not chewy, and bright green. The pan needs to be hot enough that a small amount of water should turn immediately to steam.

After about 1 minute, I open the pan, stir, and see if I need to add another dash of water, close again and wait 30 seconds to one minute.  I use a timer so I won't miss the point of perfection.  I turn off the flame and add olive oil and salt.  You can add other spices that you prefer - pepper, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, etc.

TECHNIQUE:
There is a perfect point of cooked-ness where the veggies are just soft, tender and bright.  It is a fine line between this perfection and overcooked, mushy veggies.  If I have to transfer the veggies to a serving bowl, I prefer to undercook them just slightly, since they soften while waiting to be served and eaten.  Don't wait too long between skillet and plate.

CARE FOR YOUR CAST IRON
My recipe is not typical use for cast iron - so I find I must to keep seasoning the skillet after each use (otherwise it can get rusty). Never let moisture sit in the pan. Rinse the skillet well after use (I use a little hot water and a plastic scrubber to clean the surface of the pan), dry with a paper towel or heat the skillet until it dries (do NOT leave the skillet unattended).  Once the pan is dry, add a little high-heat oil (macadamia nut, coconut oil) and let the oil heat up so you can spread it to thinly cover the skillet's cooking surface with a spatula or paper towel.  Other care instructions can be found here or here. Seasoning tips can be found here (or for vegan seasoning, here).  Even if you buy a pre-seasoned pan, most cooks recommend seasoning again before use.

I got a good deal on my last cast iron skillet with lid at my local hardware store.  If you don't have this option, know that a good skillet is an important investment that will pay for itself by allowing you to to cook delicious food at home and avoid restaurant bills, so when necessary, order online and spend the money for a skillet with good reviews.  I can usually find a lid in my kitchen that covers the skillet, but a heavy cast iron lid is also a good tool to invest in.

NEED THE COOKING TOOLS?
Cast iron skillet
Cast iron lid
Mini measuring glass
Unprocessed mineral salt
Macadamia nut oil
Coconut oil
Spatula
Serving Bowl

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