The Creamy Sauce That Upgrades Cheap Canned Vegetables

assortment of open canned vegetables
assortment of open canned vegetables - Olenamykhaylova/Getty Images

Canned vegetables are a great staple to have in your pantry, not to mention they're seriously budget-friendly. Don't fall for the myth that they're less nutritious than fresh produce — whether you go for fresh, frozen, or canned, you're getting the same nutritional benefits. Plus, canned vegetables have a long shelf life and are easy to incorporate into whatever dish you're making. The only issue is that they can sometimes be a bit lackluster. Luckily, you can easily liven them up with a simple sauce. For a creamy, delicious upgrade to a wide variety of canned vegetables, consider making a batch of hollandaise sauce.

While any sauce or seasoning would amp up the flavor of your plain canned vegetables, hollandaise manages to pack in a lot of flavor notes despite having very minimal ingredients. First, while you might not initially consider butter its own flavor, the culinary powerhouse does everything from enhancing the sweetness in foods to balancing bitterness. Lemon juice brings some necessary acidity and brightness, acting as another flavor enhancer, accentuating certain flavors inherent in your vegetables while tempering others. Consequently, hollandaise is a flawless pairing with many green vegetables that can err on the bitter side, such as broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts, as well as bland vegetables that could use some extra oomph, such as potatoes and cauliflower. When in doubt, just consider the components of the sauce — if you would add lemon or butter to a dish, hollandaise is probably a good fit.

Read more: Mistakes You're Making With Your Corn On The Cob

It's Particularly Well-Suited To Canned Vegetables

Hollandaise sauce on canned asparagus
Hollandaise sauce on canned asparagus - Dietmar Rauscher/Getty Images

While "no salt added" variations are sometimes available, canned vegetables need salt to help act as a preservative and are thus typically fairly high in sodium. That's another reason hollandaise is particularly well-suited to canned vegetables. Fat like the butter in hollandaise works to dilute excess saltiness in a dish, and acidity, like you find in lemon juice, can achieve the same thing. Hollandaise sauce improves the taste of canned vegetables in more ways than one, working its magic to balance out any unpalatable flavor notes inherent in the vegetable you've selected as well as ones that arise from the canning and preservation process. 

Now, we won't deny that hollandaise sauce has a reputation for being notoriously finicky and tough to make. However, the primary thing to keep in mind is to take your time with it. Some of the most common hollandaise mistakes include cranking up the heat so aggressively that you risk scrambling the eggs or combining things too quickly, leading to your sauce splitting. You want to whisk it fairly vigorously and keep it over a relatively low heat so that everything combines properly and emulsifies. If you're nervous and don't quite have whisking techniques mastered, we recommend using a blender to craft your sauce.

Read the original article on Mashed.