Whatever it is you're cooking, be it peas, cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts (blech), broccoli, mangetouts or whatever, observe these simple guidelines and you'll always end up with veg that is full of flavour, colour and texture (rather than the overboiled mush we all grew up with):

  • Never put the veg into cold water - make sure it's at absolutely top boiling temperature every time.
  • Never cover the pan - vegetables like air, they lose their colour if you stifle them.
  • Never overcook - when the water in your open pan comes back to the boil and the veg starts floating to the surface, it's usually ready. You can leave it an extra minute if you don't like the almost-raw feel, but don't overdo it.
In the case of peas, there's another minor secret - don't put salt in the water. It makes their skins go tough.

And there you have it - perfect vegetables that are not bland, or boring, or mushy, colourless and revoulting.