Tag Archives: vegetarian side dish

Purple Reigns

Chef Eric Ripert turns everyday cabbage into something special.
Chef Eric Ripert turns everyday cabbage into something special.

Leave it to Chef Eric Ripert to turn purple cabbage from pauper to prince.

Yes, in the hands of this gifted Michelin three-starred chef, this lowly veg shines as royalty on the plate.

“Soy-Glazed Red Cabbage” is one of the star recipes in his newest cookbook, “Vegetable Simple” (Random House), of which I received a review copy.

As the long-time chef and co-owner of the venerable Le Bernardin in New York, Ripert has honed the magic touch with seafood. Now, he applies that same exquisite care to vegetables in recipes that are truly simple. In fact, most of them call for just a handful of ingredients along with three to six paragraphs of directions.

You will salivate without feeling the least bit intimidated when you come across recipes such as “End of Summer Tomato ‘Tea’,” Warm Potato, Goat Cheese Parfaits,” “Curried Brussels Sprouts,” and “Corn Cake, Blueberry Compote.”

Wedges of purple cabbage cook in a saute pan on the stove-top with a little water and butter, like making glazed carrots. OK, maybe more than a little butter; more like half a stick. But hey, you can’t fault a Frenchman for that.

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Deep Purple

A real looker of a Brussel sprout.
A real looker of a Brussel sprout.

I think Prince would have definitely approved of these Brussels sprouts, don’t you?

With vivid purple streaks, these beauties were grown by Covilli Organics, a family-owned, fair trade-certified farm in Mexico. I snagged them recently in my grocery deliver order from GoodEggs.

They’re slightly sweeter and a little less bitter-sulfur in taste. And yes, the purple will fade a bit once cooked.

Still, what a marvel these are. I typically halve Brussels sprouts, and place them cut-side down in a cast-iron pan on the stove-top to cook or on a sheet pan in an oven at high temperature. But a new sprout called out for a new technique to try.

No surprise, I found what I was looking for in the seminal “Vegetable Literacy” (Ten Speed Press, 2014) by Deborah Madison, the founding chef of San Francisco’s Greens, the pioneering plant-forward restaurant.

Her “Slivered Brussels Sprouts Roasted with Shallots” is a very simple recipe. The only part that takes any real effort is slicing the sprouts with a mandoline.

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Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Mustard, Citrus, and IPA

Just a few carefully selected ingredients combine for this whole roasted cauliflower dish for an incredible depth of flavor.
Just a few carefully selected ingredients combine for this whole roasted cauliflower dish for an incredible depth of flavor.

Have you ever tasted a restaurant dish, and sat back in wonder, flat-out amazed over its intense depth of flavor? Whether it’s a tomato dish that tasted more tomato-y than even the most perfect peak-grown tomato off the vine or the beef dish so boffo meaty it was like tasting beef for the first time again?

Turns out it’s not all about just using the best ingredients. It has even more to do with combining the right ingredients to magnify their shared flavor attributes.

That’s the genius of the new “Flavor for All: Everyday Recipes and Creative Pairings” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by James Briscione, a former culinary instructor who worked with IBM on its “Chef Watson,” which develops cognitive computing applications to create better ingredient combinations. Briscione also was the first two-time “Chopped” champion. He wrote the book with his wife, Brooke Parkhurst, a former culinary instructor. Together, the couple run Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano in Pensacola, FL.

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Mustard, Mustard — Everywhere: French Green Lentils with A Trio of Mustards

Dig into this triple-mustard delight.
Dig into this triple-mustard delight.

If there is one thing that is always in my fridge, it is jars of mustard. That’s plural, because there is always more than one.

Dijon, stone-ground, brown, and yellow — it’s usually all there, to smear on sandwiches and sausages, to whisk into vinaigrettes, to flavor pork roasts, and to stir into velvety pan sauces for chicken.

As a bona fide mustard fiend, it’s no surprise that a recipe for “French Green Lentils with A Trio of Mustards” caught my eye — big-time. That’s because it incorporates not one, not two, but three types of mustard, as in Dijon, mustard seeds, and fresh mustard greens. How genius is that?

The recipe is from the wonderful new cookbook, “Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

This authoritative bean bible is by Joe Yonan, James Beard Award-winning the food and dining editor of the Washington Post.

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