broccoli colander

Photo: letterberry/iStock

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Cook One of the Fastest Sides You'll Ever Make
There isn't much difference between a stainless-steel colander and a steamer basket, aside from looks—and both can quickly steam practically any vegetable in a matter of minutes. The main thing is that a colander can't change its circumference to accommodate a smaller saucepan, like some steamers can, so you just need to use a large pot or Dutch oven. Pour in a half-inch of water, set the colander inside (the water shouldn't hit the bottom of the colander) and bring the water to a simmer. Place the vegetables inside, cover with a lid and steam about three minutes for spinach and peas; five to seven for broccoli, cauliflower or green beans; eight to 10 for carrots.