Doesn't it seem as if vegetables, like clogs and bell bottoms, gamine haircuts and cat eyes, go in and out of fashion?
Who decides? Do chefs have meetings, like fashion editors, and say things like Think radicchio! Kohlrabi is the new broccoli rabe! (BTW, when you're Italian and born in Brooklyn, broccoli rabe, like finocchio (fennel) never goes out of fashion.)
For a while there I kept seeing recipes that included either farro or spelt so - like a lemming - I bought some. Still in my pantry. But, I have totally taken the kool-aid on kale. I'm embarassed to say - nah, I guess not since I'm saying it - I can eat an entire bunch of kale. Garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper. Yum. And the bonus is, it's good for you. I've been on such a kale tear, that as one of my Christmas presents last year he gave me a t-shirt that says Eat More Kale. (Available from a cool guy in Vermont at http://eatmorekale.com/ )
RHYS BOWEN: It's funny that we're discussing kale right now as my son is currently living with us and has gone vegetarian/alkaline diet in a big way. This includes about five pounds of veggies going into a juicer every morning and loads of kale. The way I like it is roasted, a little garlic and olive oil, so that it's like kale chips. He also made cashew cheese that is so yummy and tastes like sharp cheddar--served over roast veggies.
JAN BROGAN: Yeah, I hopped on the kale train for a while, too, Ro. I think its all a conspiracy of chefs, restaurant review critics, and those inspirational people on PBS who convince you that you have to eat healthier and make more money.
And just as I think thriller writers have a secret contest among themselves as who can add the more preposterous twist at the end of a book, I think chefs have a contest who can add the most preposterous (but oddly delicious) ingredient. I mean who ever thought the BEET would come back and be gourmet?
Oven roasted veggies are my new 'train.' Cut them into bite-sized pieces and just coat lightly with olive oil and coarse salt -- carrots, turnips, potato, beets, even KALE (but cook them separately because Kale cooks fast and before you know it all you've got are burnt embers)! Roasted they all sweet and a little nutty. Mmmm.
ROSEMARY: I've been using the Williams-Sonoma recipe for roasted veggies for years. I add fennel and balsamic vinegar.
LUCY BURDETTE: Yeah, that's the thing Ro, kale is good for you. Really good for you. I have one recipe with it that I love--in fact my hub does too. We fight over the leftovers: http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com/2012/02/lacinto-kale-with-lentils-and-pasta-by.html
I one time grew kohlrabi in my garden but I never did really "get" that vegetable so I won't bother again. The one I love that never seems to be in fashion is okra. We were so mad last year when deer ate ours down to stalks. Over and over. I love it sliced, dipped in egg and cornmeal, and then fried with chunks of onion and pepper. MMMMMMMMM
ROSEMARY: The fabulous (Raven Award winner) Molly Weston turned me on to fried okra the first time I toured in North Carolina. It's almost worth all the hard work of writing a book to get to eat that once a year! And to visit Molly.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Lucy, the kale recipe looks fab, but I'm afraid it wouldn't go over in my house. I make a white bean, sage, and smoked sausage soup with fresh spinach stirred in at the last minute. So I saw a box of tiny little fresh organic kale at Whole Foods, and thought, "I'll just see if I can sneak in a substitution." It was delicious--and dear hubby wouldn't eat it. Sigh. So much for even baby kale.
I'm with Hallie on the beets. Love them. All colors. Roasted. Steamed. In salads. But again, verbotten on our dinner menus. Ditto sweet potatoes, which I love and are really good for you. Sigh again.
My latest veggie indulgence, all on my own? Raw mini-bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange) and raw sugar snap peas, dipped in tzatziki. I don't care if they are fashionable or not.
LUCY: Me too on the beets--love the ones right out of the garden! On the tzatziki--do you make this yourself Debs? Recipe?
DEBS: Lucy, I buy it at CostCo, along with the mini-peppers and the sugar snap peas. It's full of garlic and cucumber, surprisingly low-cal, and is wonderful as a sauce for grilled fish, cooked fresh veggies, and even just as a dip for crackers and chips. The brand is called "Hannah."
ROSEMARY: My husband loves that stuff. And it was his mother's name (..but that's another blogpost, I suppose.)
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I love fiddleheads! Sauteed in butter. And we're still loving arugula, even though I know it's so 2010. (Grilled pounded flat chicken breasts, put on top of arugula so it kind of wilts, cover with barely sauteed chopped tomoatoes and garlic, then top with shaved parmesan.
I make potatoes Anna with sweet potatoes...YUM. (For winter, though.)
Kale. I'm so sorry. I hate kale. I think. I've never tasted it. And I don't think I will. I'm rotating away from it.
ROSEMARY: Sorry - I may be a gardener, but that basket of fiddleheads looks like a basket of worms to me. I love kale! It's angry! It fights back! It won't be ignored like my mother's peas and carrots. So, are there any new to you foods that have worked their way into your rotation?
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