Here's a way to cook vegetables ahead of time without having mushy vegetables for dinner. Blanching vegetables is a cook ahead technique that's good for broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, and asparagus.
HERE'S ALL IT TAKES
Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large bowl, fill with half ice and water.
Cut up the veggies while you wait for the water to boil. Carefully, add in vegetables and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, only until they're slightly cooked through and tender.
To test, remove a piece with a slotted spoon, dip it into the ice bath to cool quickly, then eat it. If the test is good then scoop out vegetables quickly and immediately move to the ice bath.
Keep the vegetables in the ice bath just until they've cooled, about 20 to 30 seconds. Remove vegetables, drain in a colander, and set aside until ready to serve.
To reheat, heat a little oil or butter in a saute pan. If using butter, allow the butter to brown a little for a nutty flavor. Add in vegetables, salt and pepper and other spices to taste. Continue over heat until vegetables are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remember, you're not cooking them, you're reheating them.
That's it. Super quick, super tasty and not a mushy vegetable in sight.
Extra Cook Ahead Tip
You can also boil and chill pasta this way, for cold pasta dishes or for pasta you plan to reheat later.