Posts Tagged ‘endive’
Fresh vegetables are available all year round, even in the cold winter months! A variety of crisp and tasty treats that you can find at your local farmer’s market or supermarket during the period between September and March. A lot of the veggies available are root vegetables, like spicy horseradish, carrots, sweet beets and rutabaga, and some of them are big leafy veggies like kale, cabbage and endive. A lot of them may be unfamiliar to your kids, or even to you Moms out there, but its a great opportunity to introduce a wide variety of new veggies, and some of them aren’t green, which might help make it easier!There are hundreds of festive recipes that call for anyone of these veggies, sometimes two or three of them, and they can be a nutritious, healthy and yummy addition to your meals over the holiday season.
Beets are a bright red, naturally sweet vegetable that are great cooked in many different ways, baked, broiled, boiled, roasted, and even grilled. They have a very dense, smooth texture, and go well with a lot of different main course, especially red meats. Beets have a lot of natural sucrose, or sugar, in them, that only gets sweeter as they are heated, and some types of beets that are grown in temperate climates are even used to make table sugar. You can use beets in a lot of different recipes, and even use just the greens from the tops of the beets too!
The rutabaga is a cross between the cabbage and the turnip that originated in Sweden and Russia and can be used in almost any recipe that calls for a root vegetable, much like a potato. They are even carved like pumpkins in Britain and Ireland around Halloween. They have a nutty flavor and smooth texture that can be used as a thickening agent for soups and stews as well.
Winter squash is actually several different types of squash; acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and turban squash. Most of them are fully matured in the very late summer and throughout the fall seasons, but are killed by frost. They are usually found on a number of Thanksgiving tables as a centerpiece, but are found in a lot of Thanksgiving and holiday dishes as well.
Parsnips are very similar to carrots in both taste and texture, but can sometimes have a very hard or “woody” center that needs to be cut out before they can be prepared.
Leeks are very similar to green onions but have a much more mild flavor. They are used alot of times in conjunction with potatos for soups, and rarely featured in recipes on their own. They are largely a complimentary veggie.
Kale is a member of the broccoli family of veggies, and some of the varieties have distinctive curly leaves and some have big broad flat leaves. It can be cooked by itself or as an addition to other ingredients in recipes, and cooked a lot like collard greens. It is used often with beans in soups and stews, and has a nice flavor that compliments both red meat and poultry.
Endive is a member of the DAISY family, with a couple of differences in the types available in the markets. The broad leafed or Belgian endive (pictured) has a smoother more buttery flavor and large wide light green almost yellow leaves. It can be cooked alot like cabbage. The other type of endive has long thin stems and small curly leaves, with a sharp almost bitter flavor. It is often used as a garnish or flavor addition.
Horseradish is a root veggie, with a very sharp flavor that is used most often as a flavor additive, minced and added to soups. It’s usually available in jars, but sometimes can be found in root form to be sliced or grated. Be careful about how much of the root you use in your recipes, a little goes a long way, and can add a lot of heat to your meal. Click here to learn how to make horseradish from a raw root.
Cauliflower is a sister to broccoli, and can be swapped for the green veggie in a lot of recipes. It can also be steamed or boiled and mashed much like potatoes for a lower carb variation to mashed potatoes. Its smooth flavor and creamy texture make it a great choice for a vegetable.
Carrots have been a classic staple of the American meal for centuries, distinguished by their sweet taste and rich vibrant orange color. They are a root vegetable, and can be eaten raw or baked, broiled, steamed, or even as the main ingredient in a number of dessert breads, like the traditional carrot cake.
Cabbage is a naturally spicy leafy plant closely related to the wild mustard plant. Only the inner light green leaves are usually eaten, and are at times coated with a waxy powder substance called bloom. It can be cooked in a number of ways, although when boiled it releases the sugars stored in the cabbage and gives your kitchen an slightly unpleasant aroma.
Brussel sprouts grow wild in a lot of areas in North America, and grow on a very tall stalk like little lollipops sticking out. They are at their best when harvested after a short frost, like citrus fruit they get sweeter when exposed to short periods of intense cold. Overcooking Brussel Sprouts is never a good idea, because sulfur-like compounds are released, and this affects the smell and taste of the sprouts, a reason many people claim to dislike the veggie. They should be cooked until just tender.
Dad’s Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts
You Will Need:
12-16 Brussel Sprouts of similar size
1 pound of bacon
1 Tbsp extra light olive oil
Heat the oil in a large skillet, along with the garlic. Remove the outer leaves from each brussel sprout, then wrap it in a slice of bacon. Saute the wrapped sprouts until just tender, adding more oil if necessary to prevent scorching. The sprout absorbs the flavor of the bacon and believe me it is GOOD. You can also grill the wrapped sprouts for a smoky flavor.