How to Fix Mushy Vegetables
Problem: Your steamed carrots quickly went from barely tender to limp.
Solution: Serve them anyway. "A little pepper and a shaving of Parmesan and it's going to be fine," says Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Suppers From Deborah Madison's Kitchen ($27.50, amazon.com). Butter will also do the trick. Add a pat, with a drizzle of honey, to steamed carrots, or coarsely mash sweet peas with butter and fresh herbs. Or consider making soup, Madison says: Saute chopped scallions in butter or olive oil until softened, then add the vegetables and some stock or water and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in a can of drained white beans and you'll have a fast minestrone.
Next time: Use a timer. Madison sets one to go off 5 minutes after putting vegetables in the pan, not as a signal of when they're done but as a reminder to check on them, in case she gets distracted.