A variety of fresh market vegetables including broccoli, carrot, capsicum, red onion, green beans, and mushroom being stir-fried and cooked
The Genius 'Ground Up' Philosophy For Sautéing Vegetables
By Missy Boylan
Different vegetables have varying finishing times, which makes sautéing them together tricky for any chef. This is where the "ground up" rule can really help.
The rule directs cooks to start sautéing vegetables that grow under the ground, such as potatoes or carrots, before vegetables that grow above ground, such as zucchini or cabbage.
Below-ground veggies, especially root vegetables, are harder and denser than their above-ground counterparts and may require longer cooking times.
For example, veggies like carrots usually take around 15 minutes to sauté, while zucchinis are done in around five minutes. So, organize the veggies accordingly before cooking.
There can still be a few exceptions. For instance, onion grows below the ground but takes less time to sauté, while cauliflower grows above but is denser and takes longer to sauté.
To account for these variations, you can look up specific time instructions for each vegetable or research what signals that a certain vegetable is done, such as being fork tender.
The "ground up" rule should not be limited to sautéing alone, as it can apply to most vegetable cooking methods, including roasting, grilling, air frying, and boiling.