Strictly Vegetables

Winter Daikon Kimchi

Winter Daikon Kimchi

Over the years, I've become quite fond of the kimchi recipe I developed and always feel slightly saddened when I see my reserves get lower and lower. Kimchi easily takes the leaderboard amongst the several varieties of fermented vegetables I prepare each year.

Narazuke at Home (vegetables pickled in lees)

Narazuke at Home (vegetables pickled in lees)

As with most new things these days, I went to the net for more details about this intriguing ingredient. Eventually, I would learn that the sake lees I had in my possession is referred to as sakekasu and is very often used for curing vegetables.

Nettle Paneer

Nettle Paneer

I've never been a big fan of Indian food, but I will add, I've never really eaten good Indian food. My memories of a popular spot in my hometown comes with greasy sauces, precut frozen vegetables, and less then excellent parboiled rice that often accompanied most dishes.  Since those meals many years ago, I've simply stayed away from the cuisine. But thankfully, things have changed. 

Gnocchi w/ Friends

Gnocchi w/ Friends

With guests in town, I've been pulling out some of my favorite creations to share with them. Meatball curry, BBQ pulled pork, and Coconut baked flounder roe were a few goodies I presented to my west coast friends who took a break from the city to enjoy some R&R here in Maine. A few nights ago, I decided it was time to bust out the gluten and make some pasta from scratch.

Marinated & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Marinated & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

In recent years, Brussels sprouts have gained in popularity in restaurants across the states. This tiny cabbage like vegetables from the Brassica family can be seen shaved raw, broiled, grilled, and even fermented and often paired with ingredients like bacon, bonito flakes, chili peppers, and of course garlic.

Maple-Mustard Beets

Maple-Mustard Beets

I've got a lot of love for beets. I'm not quite sure how or why, but they are easily one of my favorite vegetables. Maybe it's their intense color that always stains my hands when I peel away their skin or it could be the deep, earthy flavor that tastes reminiscent of the soil they are grown in. Either way, I can dig into beets any time of the year and prepared just about any possible way.

Delicata Rings

Delicata Rings

Throughout the years, the Butternut has stood the test of time, becoming one of my go-to winter squashes for various preparations. From simple roasted chunks, to silky purees paired with everything from lamb to wild mushrooms.

Spinach w/ Olives and Preserved Lemons

Spinach w/ Olives and Preserved Lemons

I've recently fallen in love with preserved lemons and have been incorporating them into my meals as much as possible. If you've never had preserved lemons before, they are best described as mildly tart, but intensely lemony. As the salt draws out the tartness, it enhances the lemon flavor which combines well to traditional African or Indian meals where it is commonly used.

Coriander Roasted Carrots

Coriander Roasted Carrots

Last summer I took a liking to whole roasted carrots. Besides making prep time a lot easier, I find they look quite sexy on the plate alongside a piece of roasted fish or grilled chicken. While the carrots can be seasoned with a wide variety of herbs and spices, the lemony flavor of the coriander seed is one of my favorites!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/ Spinach + Preserved Lemon

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/ Spinach + Preserved Lemon

In the depths of winter, it can be a challenge to find fresh, vibrant looking ingredients to make a meal out of. With just a few local farms cutting overwintered greens from their greenhouses, green vegetable consumption nearly drops off the map. But to my surprise, even with multiple snow storms tapping down on the midcoast of Maine, some gorgeous spinach happened to find its way into our local coop. With a big smile on my face, I quickly filled up a bag, excited to take it home and add it to a meal.