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what do i do with [insert vegetable name here]?

December 13, 2010

this is by far the most common question we get at the farmers’ market, aside from, “how much is this?”

and while my answer to the “how much” question varies somewhat ($2 per bunch, $3 per pound), my answer to what to do with said vegetable is almost always the same: sauté it or roast it. really. i can’t think of a vegetable that doesn’t taste great sautéed or roasted, other than lettuce.

want more than a one-word answer? here’s how i do it:

wash vegetable of choice, peel if necessary (i rarely peel them), and chop into small pieces or thin slices. heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. add enough good-quality oil or butter to just cover the bottom. crush 2-3 garlic cloves with the side of a heavy knife, remove skins, and add to the oil. quickly move the garlic around with a spatula or wooden spoon to infuse the oil. add vegetables, a pinch of sea salt, and stir. cover the pan for a minute. uncover, stir and add a tablespoon of water. immediately replace the lid and let stand for a minute, steaming the vegetables. uncover, stir and continue to cook for several minutes, stirring frequently. if the vegetables threaten to burn or dry out, add another tablespoon of water and cover briefly before continuing to cook uncovered. when the vegetables are tender, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

sautéing works well with any leafy green (kale, chard, collards, turnip greens) as well as broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, zucchini, peppers, green beans, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, turnips, radishes, asparagus, corn, and peas.

preheat oven to 400*F. wash vegetable of choice. halve lengthwise, or chop into small cubes, or slice into 1/4-inch thick slabs. spread vegetables in a single, even layer on a greased cookie sheet or casserole pan. drizzle oil over the vegetables, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. place in the preheated oven. after 10 minutes, turn vegetables. sprinkle with a little water if they look dry. bake another 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. most vegetables can also be roasted whole, which will take longer and make them softer and more moist.

roasting works well with any root vegetable (beets, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, celery root, sunchokes, radishes) as well as fennel, asparagus, leeks, onions, artichokes, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, winter squash, pumpkin, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, and kohlrabi.

mix and match a couple vegetables, add a grain or some pasta, some fresh herbs, and an egg, cheese or meat, and you have yourself a gourmet, locavore meal. some of my recent meals, fancy restaurant menu style:

  • (sautéed) dinosaur kale and (roasted) delicata squash with millet, (roasted) leeks and thyme
  • (roasted) eggplant, sweet pepper and artichoke flatbread, olive oil and parmesan
  • (sautéed) heirloom broccoli and onion frittata with lamb sausage and mixed baby greens
  • french lentils, (sautéed) cauliflower, garlic and red russian kale with cumin and fresh cayenne
One Comment leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:35 am

    You don’t like roasted lettuce?

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