Steamed Baby Vegetables

In summer, baby vegetables are at their sweetest and make a special treat. I steam them to make the most of their tender texture and flavor and I serve them plain with only a sprinkling of fresh chervil or parsley. When vegetables are this fresh and young, they need no gilding, although I do dip the potatoes in the horseradish sauce I serve with the beef.

The vegetables can be prepared ahead and reheated just before serving, which is a great convenience for a party like a Father’s Day dinner.

INGREDIENTS MEASURE WEIGHT
volume ounces grams
18 -inch new potatoes* 18 ounces 510 grams
18 baby carrots 8 ounces 227 grams
18 baby beets 10.5 ounces 300 grams
snow peas 1 cup 4 ounces 113 grams
salt ¼ teaspoon
pepper, freshly ground teaspoon
fresh whole chervil leaves or parsley, preferably flat-leafed, minced 2 tablespoons 0.25 ounce 8 grams

*If only larger potatoes are available, cut them in half.

Method

Place a vegetable steamer in a medium saucepan. Add water to come slightly under the bottom of the steamer and bring it to a boil. Place the potatoes in the steamer and cover tightly. Lower the heat and steam until just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 10 to 15 minutes. With tongs, transfer the potatoes to a bowl of iced water and set aside until cooled, about 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside on paper towels.

Add water to the saucepan if necessary, and steam the baby carrots until just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a fresh bowl of iced water. Cool, drain and set aside on paper towels.

Add water to the pan if necessary, and steam the baby beets until just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a fresh bowl of iced water. Slip off the peel and drain well. Cut off the root ends and trim the stems. Set aside on paper towels.

The potatoes, carrots and beets can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Remove the vegetables from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.

Shortly before serving, place the vegetable steamer in the pot; add water to come slightly under the bottom of the steamer and bring it to a boil. Place the beets and snow peas on separate 12-inch squares of aluminum foil. Place the baby carrots and new potatoes in separate mounds in the steamer and nestle the beets in their foil on top, keeping the foil open. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Nestle the snow peas in their foil next to the beets, cover and continue steaming for 3 minutes or until the snow peas are bright green and all the vegetables are heated through.

Transfer the vegetables to a warmed serving platter and season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the chervil or parsley.

NOTE: A -inch steamer insert is the standard size, but a 12-inch steamer in a 10-inch or larger saucepan is ideal for this recipe.

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