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Baby vegetables: choosing and cooking.

Baby vegetables: choosing and cooking the miniatures pictured on page 93

Special handling is needed if you're toenjoy fully the baby vegetables you'll see in your market this summer, or perhaps be harvesting from your own garden. The color photographs on page 93 show two dishes that take advantage of these delightful little delicacies.

The vegetables listed here are more apt tobe available in the cooler months; some are offered all year. Most can be eaten raw or cooked. Directions for boiling and steaming are on page 92.

Beets (gold, red). Year-round. Choosebeets about 1 inch or less across. Trim outer stems off root, leaving just a few tender center stems to serve as a handle. Or cut off stems about 1 inch above the root's crown. Scrub root; rinse well. Serve boiled (takes 20 to 25 minutes) or steamed (25 to 30 minutes). Pinch skins off cooked beets.

Bok choy, baby. Year-round. Choose bokchoy that are 1 to 2 inches thick and about 6 inches long. Trim off and discard root ends, leaving heads whole. Rinse leaves well, flushing out stalks. Serve raw (whole, breaking off stalks to eat), boiled (takes about 4 minutes), or steamed (4 to 5 minutes).

Carrots (long or round; orange, red, orwhite). Year-round. Choose tapering carrots 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide and 2 to 5 inches long; choose round carrots about 3/4 inch in diameter. Clean as for beets. Serve raw, boiled (takes about 4 minutes) or steamed (about 7 minutes).

Cauliflower: Winter and spring. Chooseheads about 3 inches across. Rinse. Serve raw, boiled (takes about 7 minutes), or steamed (9 to 10 minutes).

Leeks. Year-round. Choose leeks about 1/2inch across and 12 to 14 inches long with crisp tops. Trim off roots; tops are tender. Wash, flushing out leaves. Serve raw, boiled (takes 1 to 2 minutes), or steamed (3 to 4 minutes).

Potatoes (red thin-skinned, also callednew potatoes). Late winter through summer. Choose potatoes 1 to 2 inches across. Rinse and scrub. Boil (takes 20 to 30 minutes) or steam (35 to 40 minutes).

Squash (many have flowers attached).Late winter through early fall. Green or yellow pattypan should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide; green or yellow zucchini about 3 inches long; green emerald about 1 1/4 inches wide; yellow crookneck about 3 inches long; green or yellow scallopini 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide; green or gold acorn 1 1/2 inches wide.

Rinse and trim off ends; leave flowers on.Serve raw, boiled (takes 3 to 6 minutes), or steamed (5 to 8 minutes).

Turnips (purple, white, gold). Yearround.Tops should be fresh and green; turnips should be 3/4 to 1 inch wide and feel firm and dry. Clean as for beets (preceding). Serve raw, boiled (about 5 minutes), or steamed (about 8 minutes).
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jun 1, 1987
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