Author Topic: Vegetables: favourites and oddities  (Read 2922 times)

skdadl

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Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« on: April 16, 2011, 08:19:21 PM »
Does anyone here cook artichokes any more?

I love them if someone else does them, but they seem to me a great fuss to prepare and cook. The bottled artichoke hearts in brine are ok as antipasto, but they are, after all, pickles, so you're not getting that lovely mellow flavour of the original.

Toedancer

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Re: Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 08:34:06 PM »
Does anyone here cook artichokes any more?

I don't, if I must have them for a chicken/artichoke pasta sauce I buy the tinned.
I made beets yesterday and tonight I did a Peruvian rub for my chicken tomorrow.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 08:34:31 PM by Toedancer »
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skdadl

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Re: Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011, 08:36:48 PM »
Are the tinned ones pickled or just soggy?

lagatta

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Re: Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 08:23:12 AM »
One can also find frozen artichoke pieces - usually the bottoms, sometimes the hearts. I find these at Middle Eastern shops, including Supermarché Adonis (Lebanese supermarket chain here).

In the Mediterranean, one finds small spineless artichokes, much easier to prepare and eat. Haven't really found any fresh ones here, not even at the market in the summertime.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
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Antonia

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Re: Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 06:43:43 PM »
I do, and it's not such a big deal.

Depending whether I am doing them for myself or company, I cut off the stems. (For myself, I don't bother.) let's say I do cut them off. Then I cut, depending on the size/freshness/age of the artichoke, an inch (with a large knife) from the pointed end. I pull of any brown leaves. Then with scissors I cut straight across any pointy leaves on the outside. I cannot be bothered with the rest.

I throw them in a covered pot of water with some lemon and boil till the leaves come off easily.

Drain.

Serve upside down with some vinaigrette for dipping on the side.

It's probably my favourite veg, after rapini.
It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity. It is when we all play safe that fatality will lead us to our doom. It is in the "dark shade of courage" alone that the spell can be broken.
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lagatta

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Re: Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 08:54:32 PM »
There seems to be a lot of fresh little local cauliflowers, ahead of the broccoli. That can be a bland veg, and some find it nasty, but sautéeed or roasted, can be a great vehicle for the classic Med elements: olive oil, garlic, onion, dry cheeses such as parmesan, romano or many other types.

The Lebanese (and other Levantine) deep-fried cauliflower is delicious. but of course that is high in fat. One can get the nice hit of fat without going so overboard.

I'm posting this recipe simply because it is so simple: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_cauliflower/

It conveys the idea well. This cauliflower can just as well be sautéed in a cast-iron skillet. I added everything in the recipe (before I looked it up online) as well as some finely-chopped anchovy fillets. Obviously with anchovies no added salt is needed - there is also salt in the cheese.

I also add finely-chopped flatleaf parsley at the very end - that not only makes the dish far more attractive, but also adds a nutrition and flavour boost. Fresh parsley is a mine of vitamins, for cheap.

As you can see, this is almost a pasta recipe, and makes a nice alternative for someone who has to eat gluten free or watch glucides. It makes a nice tapa, served in little earthenware tapas dishes.

If I'm sautéeing cauliflower I parboil it very briefly as I find it very hard on the tooth.

Like Antonia, I love rapini, but wish we could get some locally grown! If Québec isn't hot enough I'd certainly be satisfied with the Niagara banana belt - but it all seems to come from Texas.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 08:58:04 PM by lagatta »
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Antonia

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Re: Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2011, 11:29:53 PM »
Just about any veg is better roasted. I am not a fan of cauliflower but I would give this a shot
It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity. It is when we all play safe that fatality will lead us to our doom. It is in the "dark shade of courage" alone that the spell can be broken.
-- Dag Hammarskjöld

Herr Magoo

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Re: Vegetables: favourites and oddities
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2011, 11:42:50 AM »
Cauliflower grills nicely too, though I'm onside with Lagatta on the need to blanch it first, or (as I've done) just m-wave it for a couple of minutes.  Then a bit of oil, salt, pepper and (usually) some Zatar, and onto the hot grill.
The Metro near me has redone its produce section -- I hate to admit it, but it's actually better now -- and they seem to feature cauliflower pieces.  That's handy, because two people can't really consume a whole cauliflower in one go.  So I think my kebabs and Indian stuff will be featuring a lot more of it than they used to.
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