Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to Create The World's Best Veggie Plate

I laughed out loud when I read the headline on the cover of the new Food & Wine magazine that came in the mail a few days ago. It read "Vegetables: the next big trend." As far as I'm concerned, they never went out of style!

I was inspired to make a restaurant-style veggie plate out of all of the 'hip and trendy' things I had hanging out in my fridge. I made a warm zucchini and tomato salad with parmesan, pickled beets with arugula and goat cheese, baba ganoush with homemade pita chips, and green beans with almonds and orange zest.

Now I want to give you few tips for making your own vegetables tasty:

1. Blanch green vegetables like green beans, broccoli, and zucchini in super-salty water for just a few seconds. This will leach out any bitterness and render a sweeter-tasting veg without obliterating the nutritional value.

2. Get some caramelization on your veg by leaving it alone in the pan a little longer than you think you should. That color = flavor.

3. Add some citrus zest to almost everything. A little goes a long way, but it adds a bright note that is undeniably delicious.

4. A pinch of high-quality salt and a twist of good black pepper at the end can make all of the difference in the world.

So, we're you have any tips of your own for making the most of vegetables?