Cooking Without Saucepans, Steaming Artichokes, and Ravioli in a Steam Oven
Updated: Mar 2
Steam ovens feature a variety of cooking modes that can be used for steaming, roasting, baking, braising, or broiling foods. When you steam food in the Steam oven saucepans are not required, you are liberated from standing at the stove monitoring the cooking, clean-up is easier and multiple foods can be cooked simultaneously in the oven with no transfer of flavor.
How To Steam Artichokes in a Steam Oven
Any foods that can be cooked in water or over boiling water in a steam basket can be successfully cooked using the Steam mode in a Steam oven. Steam ovens come with a perforated and a solid pan and sometimes it takes a little trial and error to determine which pan will give the best results. Having cooked with the Steam oven for over 20 years I am happy to help you avoid the errors I made along the way.
The perforated pan works perfectly for some vegetables such as corn on the cob, green beans, broccoli, carrots, and potatoes, but when it comes to steaming artichokes, I have found that using a solid pan gives the best results. If the number of artichokes you are cooking won’t fit in the pans that come with your Steam oven then they can be cooked in a shallow ovenproof casserole.
Before you prepare the artichokes, prepare the cooking pan by adding ½ - 1 cup of water to the pan (depending on the size) add in 6 - 8 lemon slices or the juice of 1 lemon and a few sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano. Cut the stem off of the artichoke so it will sit flat in the pan, trim the outer leaves, and remove the choke before placing the artichokes in the pan, or you can halve each artichoke as shown in the video if you prefer.
Place the pan in the oven and cook in the Steam mode for 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. Steamed artichokes can be served with melted garlic butter or a dip. They can be stuffed with a shrimp salad or if you halve them they can be grilled which really brings out their flavor.
Steaming Ravioli in the Steam Oven
Removing the leaves from cooked artichokes and enjoying the little pocket of artichoke meat from each leaf before finally getting to the heart is a leisurely process making artichokes ideal to serve as an appetizer. However, if you are serving the artichokes as a meal and would like to add another more substantial side dish you might consider steaming some ravioli at the same time.
I chose ravioli with lemon ricotta filling to serve with my artichokes. I cooked the ravioli in the solid oven pan with a little added water and salt and steamed them as directed on the package for 4 minutes. Before serving I tossed the ravioli with a creamy pesto sauce.
Steam ovens are remarkable appliances that can make food preparation easier and because there is no transfer of flavors when steaming a variety of foods at one time you can easily steam other foods such as lobster tails or some potatoes for a potato salad at the same time. Just think of the Steam oven as the best sous-chef in the kitchen, it will never disappoint.
A slow-roasting lamb shoulder fills the air with tantalizing aromas and makes a wonderful weekend meal so please check out my next post for inspiration.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast