At Beefsteak, José Andrés’s new build-your-own-bowl spot in Washington, DC, vegetables are the stars. But they're humble in this lead role: These vegetables aren't intricately prepared using modernist techniques. They’re not charred over an impossibly hot flame. They’re not battered and fried or even sautéed. At Beefsteak (and at home), Andrés champions a vegetable-cooking method that's fallen out of favor: boiling.
“We’ve forgotten how good humble boiled vegetables are,” Andrés says. “I think we need to make boiling sexy again. At my house, you will find a tray of perfectly boiled vegetables 365 days out of the year.” Here, five smart boiling tips from Andrés.
Keep the cooking time short. When boiling something like cauliflower (Andrés’s favorite vegetable at the moment), he recommends cooking for one minute if you want it super-crunchy and grassy or for about eight minutes if you prefer your vegetables softer and sweeter. But that is the limit. After that, you risk the dreaded sulfur smell.