4 Uses for a Colander You'd Wish You Had Known Before
There's so much more to this kitchen workhorse than draining spaghetti and canned beans.
Put an End to Soggy Zucchini Bread
Zucchini may not seem like it's packed with H2O, but this summer squash has a water content higher than watermelon
. That's why you'll sometimes see recipes—usually for fritters
, which use grated zucchini or zucchini noodles
—advising you to drain it first. One of the least messy (i.e., no shreds of zucchini all over your kitchen) ways to do this is to place the grated vegetable in a colander on the sink or over a bowl for 20 minutes, or so. Press down on the zucchini with a paper towel to extract even more water. Goodbye, soggy fritters, overly moist zucchini bread and watery zucchini noodles.
Turn Any Yogurt into a Creamy Multitasker
Making your own Greek-style yogurt or yogurt cheese doesn't require special equipment; all that really separates regular from Greek yogurt is liquid whey and lactose. This how-to explains the process
, but you basically place a clean, cotton dish towel into a colander, spoon plain yogurt onto the towel, set the colander over a bowl and refrigerate. As the hours pass, the yogurt will thicken; it's "done" whenever it's the consistency you like, whether you're eating it with fruit or using it to lighten up mac 'n' cheese
Take the Drudgery Out of a Tedious Task
Removing the leaves from herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, can take a while, especially if you need, say, a half-cup of the greens for pesto
or another dish. You can make the job go more quickly by threading the herbs' stems through a colander's holes and pulling them. The leaves will stay in the colander and you can just toss the stems.
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.