The 'I blog because I learn, I learn because I blog' concept returned to me tonight while slipping leftover beets through the Benriner , then moving them to a skillet to create, almost without thought, a quick and entirely new way to enjoy beets.
Aha! If we're bored with vegetables or simply want to experience vegetables in new ways, there are several techniques to turn the comfortable and familiar into the fresh and unexpected, terrific ways to turn vegetables upside down, inside out and sideways.
- ISOLATE -- or MAKE FRIENDS If we always 'add flavor' to a vegetable (onion, salt and pepper, for example), try it all by itself, just to remember what the vegetable itself tastes like unadorned and unmasked. Or if we always cook a vegetable by itself, pair it with another vegetable, broccoli with fennel or asparagus with mushrooms or. or. or. Or. Or.
- CHANGE the SIZE Just changing size makes a difference in texture and thus taste.
- If we always cook a vegetable whole or in big chunks, cut it small-small-small; the Benriner makes this especially easy, but for some vegetables, a garden-variety carrot peeler will work, so will nothing more than a sharp knife. Try cutting 'ribbons' or 'noodles' or grating or shredding.
- Or say, if we've only eaten cabbage in slaw, try cooking it in big wedges.
- TRY IT RAW, TRY IT COOKED If we always eat a vegetable cooked, instead, try it raw -- or the reverse. Think cooked asparagus vs raw asparagus; think raw radishes versus cooked radishes.
- EXPLORE the WORLD (or just the FRIG) If we always season vegetables one way, switch to flavor profiles from other cuisines, Thai, Indian, Mexican, so many more. Or if that's too much, experiment with simple flavors in the frig or pantry -- think broccoli tippled with a bit of mayonnaise or a splash of lemon juice.
FROM THE ARCHIVES Gosh I love beets - some time I'm going to count all the beet recipes in the Recipe Box.
Time to table: Maybe 30 minutes?
Fresh beet, small or medium in size, about 1 pound, trimmed, peeled and 'made small' in some way
1 tablespoon butter
A couple of cloves of garlic, chopped
A hefty splash of good vinegar
Chives or fresh herbs
Prep the beets. In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter til shimmery on MEDIUM. Add the garlic and let cook a minute. Add the beets and stir to coat with fat. Let cook, stirring often, til beets are mostly cooked. Add the vinegar and let cook into the beets til beets are down. Remove from heat and stir in chives or herbs. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
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