Within the last five years, we’ve seen chefs transform vegetables into works of art. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Rich Landau speak about the farm to table movement at the Association of Food Journalists Conference, and I look to Vedge as a big innovator in this space. If you look at the menu at any given time, you will find incredibly fresh and innovative dishes that showcase vegetables in a variety of ways. Who would have thought you could enjoy eggplant braciole, or portobello carpaccio? Techniques once reserved for the carnivorous world, these preparations can now be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their dining preferences.
But much to my dismay, I am no Rich Landau. And so when it comes to preparing vegetables at home, I tend to keep things simple. Yes, one day I plan on mastering the perfect fritter, and getting my puree consistency just right. But until then, I am sharing with you my all-time favorite preparations of the seasonal picks you can find at your local farmers market (when the time is right)!
As the temperature drops, I look to earthy, comforting vegetable preparations like these. My oven gets a workout all fall and winter long!
- Broccoli: roasted with garlic, crushed red pepper and anchovy paste
- Cauliflower: roasted with toasted pine nuts and quick pickled golden raisins
- Potato: cheesy potato au gratin (this was a tough one! I love my potatoes…)
- Mushrooms: roasted with garlic
- Red Cabbage: caramelized with a small dash of balsamic
- Autumn Squash: roasted with sprigs of rosemary
- Carrot: whole roasted with a spicy honey glaze
- Brussels Sprouts: roasted with mushrooms, red onion and truffle salt
- Leeks: braised with a hefty topping of parmesan cheese
By this time of year, I’m ready for bright zesty flavors and crisp, fresh textures. Hallelujah, see you at the farmer’s market!
- Asparagus: roasted until crispy with fresh squeeze lemon & zest
- Fresh English Peas: sautéed with chunks of bacon
- Radish: thinly sliced and served raw with a blend of fresh herbs and citrus
- Garlic Scapes: sautéed in olive oil and seasoned simply with sea salt
- Fennel: wafer-thin sliced and lightly coated in a bright salsa verde vinaigrette
Summer’s bounty is my favorite, and I could live off steamed corn and raw tomatoes all season long.
- Tomatoes: sliced fresh, sprinkled with a little balsamic and olive oil (with mozzarella of course)
- Eggplant: breaded and baked with tomato sauce (and cheese… again)
- Beets:roasted with citrusy pistachio vinaigrette
- Zucchini: grated or sliced very thin with lemon zest, slivered almonds and tarragon
- Cucumbers: quick pickled
- Corn: Simply steamed (nothing better)
- Peppers: Diced and cooked as a medley with garlic and hot pickled cherry peppers