When fresh vegetables are plentiful, they're at their best. Cooking them in the microwave keeps them that way.
The microwave cooks fresh vegetables so fast, they hold their color, flavor and nutrients. If you're not convinced, try these recipes and judge for yourself.Both were among the top 20 favorites printed during the 19 years of The Microwave Times newsletter, before it became The Cooking Connection (1-800-328-2846).
Under the new name, it publishes recipes for bread machines and other cooking gadgets, as well as microwaves.
The first recipe also works with cubes of zucchini or pieces of broccoli, if that's what you happen to have on hand.
The second recipe is a variation of a popular microwave dish: vegetables prettily arranged on a platter, zapped and served with a butter sauce. If you want just four servings, use a smaller plate and reduce the zapping to about five minutes in the first step, and a minute or less in the last step.
1 small head cauliflower
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Wash cauliflower and pat dry. Separate into florets; cut larger pieces into bite-size pieces.
On high, microwave margarine in uncovered glass dish 1 to 11/2 minutes or until melted.
Combine crumbs, cheese, tarragon, paprika and salt in plastic bag; shake to mix well.
Dip several pieces of cauliflower at a time in margarine mixture. Add to crumbs and shake to coat evenly. Arrange on paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Cover with paper towel. Microwave on high 4 to 5 minutes or until tender, rotating plate once if your oven does not have a carousel. Serve warm on toothpicks. Makes 40 snacks.
GARDENER'S SPECIAL PLATTER
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli
1/2 medium head cauliflower
2 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Trim broccoli; cut into pieces about 2 inches long and with stalks about 1/4-inch thick.
Arrange toward edge of 10- or 12-inch glass serving dish with flower ends toward center of dish.
Cut cauliflower into similar-size florets. Place between broccoli stalks. Slice zucchini and mound in center of plate.
Cover all with plastic wrap. Microwave on high nine to 11 minutes or until vegetables are just about tender.
Combine margarine, garlic salt and thyme in glass dish. Microwave on high, uncovered, 45 to 60 seconds or until melted.
Drain excess liquid from vegetables. Add tomatoes. Drizzle vegetables with butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Microwave uncovered on high, 11/2 to 2 minutes, or until tomatoes are heated.
Makes eight servings.