Cooking vegetable and fruits sous vide is a great way to tenderize them without losing as much of the vitamins and minerals that are normally lost through blanching or steaming. Fruits can also be infused with liquid when cooked at lower temperatures when liquid is added to the bag.
Sous vide helps preserve the nutrients present in fruits and vegetables by not cooking them above the temperature that cause the cell walls to fully break down. This allows them to tenderize without losing all their structure. The bag also helps to catch any nutrients that do come out of the vegetable.
While time and temperature do not factor into safety for fruits and vegetables they do have a unique effect on their structure. There are two components to vegetables that make them crisp, pectin and starch. Pectin, which is basically a type of glue and is also used in jams and jellies for structure, breaks down at 183ºF / 83ºC at a slower rate than the starch cells do. In many cases this allows for more tender vegetables that have a unique texture to them.
The time component just governs how long the starches and pectin are breaking down for and how tender the vegetable will become.
This is a unique mustard-vinegar potato salad which has a tartness not found in the typical mayonnaise based potato salads. The vinegar also helps this dish to complement fattier main courses like ribeye or duck breast. The sous vide potatoes turn out nice and tender and always perfectly cooked.
This recipe works great for many types of vegetables including radishes, turnips, parsnips, or pearl onions. You can also try different herb combinations like rosemary and thyme for a more savory dish or tarragon and mint for a sweeter combination.
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