Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Looks That Deceive, or Boiled Vegetables are Fun

Today, I want to give you the most boring recipe you'll ever read. It goes like this: carrots, butter, lemon, salt, pepper. Well, not quite, as you can see in the picture, but it could. Before you remove us from your feed reader, please, pretty please, try this recipe. You'll be surprised at how delicious something so simple can be.

I first got the idea of making these vegetables as a side dish to fried swordfish with salsa, but we thought they wouldn't go that well with the spicy salsa, so we turned them into a starter instead, and I'm really glad we did, because this was a dish that could, and should, stand on its own. This is also a smart way of adding vegetables to a meal where you can't really fit them in anywhere else; serve it as a starter, like we did. Or serve these on bruschetta to a pre-dinner cocktail. Or eat them as a light lunch.


The core here is simple: boiled vegetables. The trick is simply to treat them lovingly: put your vegetables in a pot with plenty of lightly salted water, bring to a boil and simmer until they've got just the right consistency. They should still have some bite, but not be raw in any way. Once boiled, pour the vegetables into a colander, then let them steam dry on a kitchen towel.

Afterwards, dress them simply. We cleared some butter and dressed them with that, a bit of lemon juice, some salt and pepper. You could also use butter without bothering with clearing it, or olive oil, or cold pressed rapeseed oil. You could substitute vinegar for the lemon juice, you could add herbs or other spices. Simply put: treat them like salad.

We boiled small carrots, tiny little asparagus spears and some broccoli. Be mindful of the different boiling times your vegetables will need: add the carrots first, then after a few minutes the broccoli, and so on. Poke them with a fork, or even pick up a piece and eat it to find out when they're done. Simple as that, just give them a bit of love, and they'll give you more back.

You could make this with pretty much any vegetable that you think sounds good: carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mangold, spinach, asparagus, small onions, pretty much anything you find at the greengrocer's. This time of year, fresh vegetables are quickly popping up all over, and they are so full of taste. Try this, and let yourself be amazed at the lovely flavours one can coax out of them with so little effort.

1 comment:

chriesi said...

Those veggies are very pretty! Great post!