Chefs are devoting entire cookbooks to creative vegetable recipes.
Yotam Ottolenghi, who has four locations of his eponymous restaurant as well as Nopi in London, England, wrote “Plenty” and “Plenty More.” His newest cookbook, “Nopi,” also contains some spectacular vegetable dishes that are served at the high-end restaurant.
“Slow-cooking vegetables, I think, is very popular and not even slow cooking but putting vegetables on top of the menu. Many, many creative chefs do that now, so they take their vegetables and push them as far as possible. Slow-cooking, pickling, curing, all those techniques are coming back,” he said during a visit to Toronto.
“I think it’s considered very sexy at the moment to do that, to push the vegetables and get the most out of them. Roast-to-tail eating was so popular about five years ago with animals. Now people do the same thing with vegetables. Use the whole veg, not just the heart, and make the most out of it,” he added.
Here are recipes for colourful roasted carrots, edamame hummus and roasted brussels sprouts.
ROASTED CARROTS WITH CORIANDER SEEDS AND GARLIC
Honey, garlic, thyme and coriander are all exceedingly good accompaniments to roasted carrots. This dish works particularly well alongside meat or seafood entrees or barley risotto.
1 kg (2 1/4 lb) carrots, peeled and sliced into batons (2 by 8 cm/1/2 by 3 inches).
15 ml (1 tbsp) runny honey
22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) olive oil
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) coriander seeds, gently crushed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) sea salt
Pepper, to taste
5 thyme sprigs
Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F) or 200 C (390 F) convection.
In a large bowl, place carrots with honey, oil, coriander seeds, garlic, salt and plenty of pepper. Mix well, then transfer to 2 large parchment-lined baking sheets (you don’t want the carrots to be overcrowded). Roast for 30 minutes, mixing in thyme just 3 minutes before the end of cooking, until carrots are cooked through and caramelized but still retain their bright colour.
Makes 4 servings.
Source: “Nopi” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully (Appetite by Random House, 2015).
Trend watcher Christine Couvelier predicts hummus will be popular in 2016. But people are branching out from the traditional chickpea version.
This colourful hummus recipe features edamame (fresh soybeans).
It can be served with assorted raw veggies, as the filling with roasted vegetables in a rolled tortilla, on toasted crostini or drizzled with a bit of Sriracha for a zesty version.
500 ml (2 cups) frozen shelled edamame
50 ml (1/4 cup) tahini
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh thyme
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper
60 to 90 ml (4 to 6 tbsp) olive oil (approx)
Cook edamame according to package directions.
In the work bowl of a food processor, combine cooked edamame, tahini, lemon zest and juice, garlic, thyme, basil, salt and pepper and process until smooth.
With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil and blend until smooth. (Using more olive oil will produce a creamier hummus.)
Source: Christine Couvelier, Culinary Concierge www.culinaryconcierge.ca.
ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CRANBERRIES
Anastasia Meeks, a student member of the Ontario Home Economics Association, developed this recipe to change her family’s minds about eating brussels sprouts as a Christmas dinner side dish.
“They all loved this recipe so much that they requested for it to make an appearance at next year’s dinner. Mission accomplished,” she writes.
When choosing brussels sprouts, look for ones that are dark green and tightly closed and dense for their size. Wrap them loosely in a paper towel and then place in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper. They should remain fresh for up to 2 weeks. When trimming brussels sprouts, peel or pull away any blemished or bruised leaves.
500 g (1 lb) brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed, cut in half
150 ml (2/3 cup) fresh or frozen cranberries
30 ml (2 tbsp) canola oil
Iodized salt and pepper, to taste
5 ml (1 tsp) whole-grain Dijon mustard
30 ml (2 tbsp) pure maple syrup
15 ml (1 tbsp) apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place brussels sprouts and cranberries on prepared pan. Drizzle with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat with oil and seasonings.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until brussels sprouts have browned and tenderized and cranberries have softened. Shake pan periodically.
Dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, maple syrup and vinegar.
When brussels sprouts and cranberries are done, place in large bowl with dressing and toss until coated.
Makes 1 l (4 cups). One serving is 125 ml (1/2 cup).
Source: “Homegrown: Celebrating the Canadian Foods We Grow, Raise and Produce” by Mairlyn Smith with Recipes from the Ontario Home Economics Association (Whitecap Books, 2015).