Monday, January 11, 2010
Is 2010 the year of the vegetable?
I am wondering if 2010 will be the year of the vegetable. In the past year home gardening has become a hot trend. Even the White House has a garden - as showcased in the recent Food Network Iron Chef competition. Going to farmers' markets and getting CSA shipments has been a trend for awhile. Yep, I am sensing a vegetable revolution.
Well all know we should eat more vegetables. What I think that does NOT mean is more of the same. It means trying new vegetables and coming up with new ways to prepare the same old vegetables. It means taking inspiration from professional chefs for flavors and interesting ways to prep vegetables.
I will be the first to say that I need all the help I can get. Here is where I am starting:
- I got a new vegetable cookbook that, thus far, has promise.
- I am re-creating restaurant dishes that feature vegetable dishes that are either new to me or are prepared in interesting ways. The best restaurant dish, hands down, that I ate in December was a heavenly shaved Brussels sprout salad at Bottega in Yountville. It featured Brussels sprouts, marcona almonds, sieved egg, pecorino and a whole citrus vinaigrette. I am working on re-creating this dish.
- I am focusing on adding more veggies to meals - lunch in particular. I recently made three veggie-heavy soups for the freezer: minestrone, potato leek and split pea.
- My goal is to learn to prepare vegetables without a bunch of extra fat. I'd eat broccoli every day if it was doused in hollandaise sauce. Who wouldn't? On the other hand, I don't want to go too far to the other extreme of dry broccoli with just lemon juice for flavor. That will get old fast. There has to be a balance.
Please share your ideas for eating more veggies in 2010!
(The photo credit for the terrific veggies above goes to my friend and neighbor Terrie. Clearly, I need to accompany her to the farmers' market more often!)