Vegetables are good . They are chock full of nutrition and low in calories, yet many people avoid them. They complain that the flavor is too bland or they're not prepared in an appetizing way. The solution? Add a few tweaks here and there.
That's basically what Dave Tanis did and wrote about in today's New York Times Food section. His A City Kitchen Column is devoted to making those tough to swallow veggies zesty and fun.Think dirt candy. He targets cauliflower and broccoli, Cauliflower is a versatile veggie. The hot trend right now is ricing it, which makes it exciting to eat.It's also delicious as a soup and heavenly breaded and fried. Mr. Tanis has many suggestions, a few of the celebrating Sicily' love of it. The Sicilians bake it under a topping of soft sheep's milk cheese and olives.Mr. Tanis perks it up with a dash of anchovy, garlic and hot pepper. Mozzarella and pecorino cheese stands in for the original choice. He also subs in romanesco broccoli, a bright chartreuse spiky kind of cauliflower, but the recipe can be used for any kind of cauliflower. He also gives a pan roasted recipe that has the florets roasted with such herbs as parsley and rosemary, zested up with garlic and red pepper flakes. It's easy to create and would be great accompanying any roast. Mr. Tanis suggest serving it with a lemon wedge.
Broccoli also gets some spiking up too.It is good on it's own or with a squirt of lemon or melted butter or margarine.As he states, the fresher it is, the better the taste.He also recommends getting the organic kind, right now coming in from California.Look for the smaller and multi-stemmed ones. The
way the stalks are cut can also influence the taste. Don't chop large,puffy florets. These will end up overcooked. Aim for longer, thinner spears. Mr. Tanis usually butter steams which is essentially simmering them in a butter water bath. This will yield firm but tender stalks. .It is a great way to cook them because the broccoli soaks up all that savory cooking liquid in just five minutes.It can be jazzed up even more with a hearty sprinkling of toasted bread crumbs that have been spiked with red pepper
flakes. . It's topped off with shaved Parmesan cheese. Mr Tanis suggests interchanging these recipes between the broccoli, cauliflower and its' fancier cousin the romanesco broccoli.
Cauliflower and broccoli are good on their own but sometimes need some spiking up. Try them these ways, jazzed up with bread crumbs or oven roasted for a new spin. This will liven up the ordinary, turning them into something extraordinary.