Steaming is an alternative to blanching that doesn't rely on submerging the ingredient in water to cook it. Steaming is a popular technique for preparing vegetables, and is a final technique, meaning the vegetables should be served immediately upon removing them from the pot.
Steam is created when the temperature of water goes above the standard boiling point, 212 degrees F. The steam needs to rise up to and around the ingredient in order to cook it.
One method used for steaming is a thin, woven wood or bamboo basket, placed over--but not touching--a wok or large pan with boiling water. This method, usually associated with Asian cuisines, captures the steam within the stacked and sealed basket layers. Another common option A stainless steel steamer (see photo) placed in a pot over a small amount of boiling water is another common method.
Regardless of the tool you use, keep an eye on the contents of your steamer. Most vegetables will cook in no time flat, usually between 1 and 3 minutes).