SEASONAL VEGGIE ROUND UP
Deciding what’s for dinner can be as dreaded and painful as going to the dentist. I’ve been caught glassy eyed wandering the aisles, no list, hoping to find inspiration, peering in strangers carts. Instead, start with the vegetables that are available this month.
Local is fresher and more flavourful so you need to do less to them and of course, they are less expensive. You may draw a blank when I say eggplant, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, arugula and collard greens. Truth is, I'm not sure my kids will eat them, but yours will, so here’s the line up. Mix and Match with simple grilled chicken, fish or meat:
Eggplant- get inspired by my favourite dish at Ottolenghi in Notting Hill, UK. Here’s the long version: It’s delicious.
But I love shortcuts, so here’s what I do:
- Japanese eggplant, sliced lengthwise-1 per person
- Slice deep into flesh forming diamond shapes
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil
- Bake about 30 min at 400
- Whisk a bit of lemon and garlic with plain Greek yoghurt
- Dollop on top and enjoy
Cauliflower- roasted is best. You can find the recipe and more like it in my cookbook.
- Remove course stem
- Break into flowers,
- Put in roasting pan
- Drizzle with butter that’s been fried with sage, salt and pepper
- Roast until tender about 35 minutes.
- Remove rough end and halve
- Plunk in roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, hot chilli flakes and a wee bit of my dad’s maple syrup
- Roast about 20 minutes until soft.
Mid week I’m too rushed to cook and add double smoked bacon but throwing in a few pieces of pancetta gives a similar flavour.
Swiss Chard + Collard Greens - they look so pretty in the grocery store, but intimidate some. Just think a quick saute.
- In a large saute pan, cook shallots, garlic, sliced leeks and minced ginger in a bit of olive oil.
- Add a few chilli flakes.
- Remove stems from greens and chard and tear into bite sized pieces.
- Saute until softened but still vibrant in colour.
A quick oven roast of local trout in maple syrup, soy and oil of course on top of your greens and you are looking like a pro not to mention getting your greens on and detoxing.
Broccoli - Try Malibu Farm cookbook’s Charred Broccoli + Rosemary Aioli for Bohemian inspired west coast infusion. Get the book here.
If ever you’re in doubt about what is in season, look for place of origin in the produce aisle and buy Ontario. Farmer’s markets open in May, a quick visit will get you ready for the season. I love Cabbagetown Market. For recipes and local goods, check out Magwood.co. The shop is always open.