As part of my new year’s resolution to relax, eat better and “smell the roses“, I watched an Episode of Iron Chef today. They featured produce from the White House garden being served up so many different ways by culinary masters like Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse with White House chef Cristeta Comerford. Despite the players (other than Cristeta), any presence of meat in this episode was a backdrop for the vegetables.
I know that it’s harder to think about vegetables when it’s 20 degrees outside! But believe it or not, they are abundant, delicious and good for the “New You Of 2010“. I certainly want to drop a few pounds, have better skin and shinier hair and everything else that comes along with having more vegetables in my diet. So here are a few vegetables to look for and a few meal ideas to think about when you are at the farmers market or farmstand in your town.
If you are on the North Fork or plan to visit, check out the farmstands along Route 25 and Route 48 and pick up some local wine for some antioxidant pleasure. Check out all the great vineries on the North Fork at www.liwines.com.
Apples: slice them up and have with some organic crunchy peanut butter
Belgian Endive, Radicchio and Pears and dates: tossed together in a bitter-sweet crunchy salad. This salad would pair perfectly with a Gewurztraminer from Corey Creek Vineyards from Bedell.
If you have a stalk of Brussels Sprouts: sautee with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
For Chestnuts: serve roasted and peeled, eaten whole or as part of a salad garnish. Pair with an earthy
local Cabernet Franc from Raphael
For Collard Greens or Kale: steam and sautee with garlic or something evil like a tiny bit of lardons or linguica and serve along side a roasted chicken. This would pair perfectly with some Borghese Pinot Noir from Oldest Vines.
As a starter, try some Leeks and Turnips: pureed with vegetable stock for a perfect winter bisque. Pair with a red blend called Oregon Road.
For something hearty, try Sweet Potatoes: mashed with Vermont Maple Syrup as a side dish or as dessert in a sweet potato pie, the First Lady’s favorite. The side can be served with some fried clams and a glass of dry Riesling from Peconic Bay Winery.
If you want to savor the variety of Winter Squash: try them roasted or mashed or use in hearty winter soups and serve with some lager from Greenport’s Brewery.
No matter where you live, you have access to local produce that is in season. The problem is that you may have to step out of your comfort zone in cooking or eating these vegetables. But it’s a new year and a new you and let’s get it cooking!