Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter Vegetables Are Boring?

I confess, I really enjoy summer vegetables best. You don't need to cook them (in fact, many are better raw) and they are just so crunchy and juicy and fantastic. I mean, I know I complained about having too many tomatoes but now I can't imagine how that would be possible!

Making winter vegetables interesting is a bit more of a challenge. There is of course the oven roasting. I definitely enjoy a mixed roast vegetable dish made with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe some thyme or rosemary. I've also used cumin or chili powder on occasion or tossed the veg, while still warm, with a vinaigrette. A lemon vinaigrette works especially nice on roasted broccoli. But despite these variations, I long for the variation that you get with the summer cousins.

So, I've made an effort to seek out unusual (at least for me) ways to use the typical winter vegetables: Dark leafy greens, winter squash, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, turnips and other root crops. Below are some interesting recipes or ideas that have spiced things up.

Dark, Leafy Greens
(Collards, mustards, turnip, and asian greens. The "usual" is making these southern style or cooked with beans)

Oven roasted kale
: I haven't tried this one yet, but if it's anything like the crispy spinach at Rasika, I bet it's fabulous!

Mustard green gratin
: A hearty way to get in the green stuff.

Stir-fried chinese broccoli
: I love ordering this when we go from dim sum. It makes me feel better about consuming an additional pork bun! You could do this with any asian green.

Winter Squash
(Butternut, acron, spaghetti, etc. The "usual" is roasting or steaming or soup)

Butternut squash & sage risotto
: I've already blogged about this, but it's worth repeating!

Thai curry with acorn squash & asian greens: This recipe is good as-is, but I often modify by using what I have on hand which is usually chicken stock, chicken, and leave out the lime leaves (sometimes putting in lime zest).

Root Vegetables
(Carrots, potatoes, turnips, etc. The "usual" is roasted mixed veg, mashed potatoes or baked potatoes)

Carrot salad with cumin: I had this at a restaurant that added dried currants. Delicious and light.

Warm sweet potato salad with chorizo: I just found this recipe from the WaPo. I'm thinking it would be a delicious lunch all by itself...

Broccoli & Cauliflower
(The "usual" is steamed or roasted.)

Aloo gobi: Curried cauliflower and potatoes. You could use turnips too.

Cream of broccoli soup
: Um, a little cream never hurt anyone, right?!?

What do you do with your winter vegetables?

1 comment:

  1. ...any winter veggie in a crock pot! Add a bit of curry, cumin, what-have-you, toss in some cooked rice when it's done, and voila! Instant yum!