Sunday, 27 October 2013

Veggie Sides

Kale and Chorizo
As a confirmed meat eater, walk it through a warm room/twitching/black and blue advocate this might seem like a surprising post but, I love veg.

No meal is complete without at least two different portions of veg as far as I am concerned. I love figuring out different and interesting ways to cook and serve vegetables. I love eating seasonal veg and I love buying interesting and unusual varieties of veg in the local farmers' market I go to every Saturday. The selection there is always better than a supermarket or even a green grocers who always seem to stock the old reliables no matter what the season.

What started this epiphany was discovering that flash frying Brassicas on a pan was infinitely better than boiling them. It began with Brussels sprouts. That hated vegetable. Fed up of listening to my children when they were small moaning how much they hated them. One (now the chef) actually hated most vegetables but being the understanding mother I am, I told him he'd die of bowel cancer if he didn't eat them. It worked! Shock therapy or maybe just sheer terror at the vague promise of a painful death, he grudgingly picked at both sprouts and spinach. My daughter was much better but she used to complain loudly about spinach especially if I included it in lasagne. They both now eat all vegetables.

Slicing up sprouts very finely and tossing in a mixture of butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and toasted almonds or hazelnuts transformed them into a different animal. Especially fabulous at Christmas.

Sautéing shredded cabbage with a clove of garlic and seasoning well, likewise the same.

Wilting spinach on a pan is so much better than cooking it in a saucepan. Don't ask me why.

But my recent discovery is kale. I love making Colcannon with it, but I discovered blanching it and refreshing it in cold water followed by tossing it on a hot pan with some finely diced Chorizo and a small clove of garlic is really delicious. 

Buying the best quality Chorizo you can find is important because the cheap stuff has a really nasty after taste.

The Chorizo pictured is from Kilruddery Farmer's Market in Bray but there is another fabulous one I bought recently in The Milk Market in Limerick from On the Wild Side, based in Kerry.

Giving vegetables a starring role in a meal by making them more appetising especially if it gets children to try them has to be a good thing.

I really believe that coercing, okay tempting children to eat vegetables when they are small makes them much more adventurous as adults. How many adults say they dislike this or that, but when you ask them have they tried it, they invariably say no......

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