Welcome back to Pimp Your Veg! I’m hoping to share more vegetable inspiration over the next few months, and I fully admit that although I cook vegetables every single day, I’m not necessarily the oracle for cooking vegetables, there are methods I don’t utilise, so I’ve asked my lovely, talented blog friend Sue to share some ideas from her kitchen, which is what we are bringing you today…and it looks fab, so I invite you to ‘steam, sear and slather’ with Sue…
“I am honored to assist my friend Elaine at Foodbod in her series entitled “Pimp Your Veg.”
Now is a particularly good time of year to embark on a vegetable journey, as many of us have probably partaken too much of starches, heavy foods, sweets and such over the recent holiday season, and so veg sounds good. And although vegetables sound good to me right now, I like a good cooked veg with lots of interesting texture and flavor, and not a raw veg for the most part. I like a salad with raw greens, but it’s got to also have a cooked element on top or mixed in, and also, please serve with a spoon! I do not like to stab leaves!
Elaine has covered some wonderful ground in the series so far, with ideas and recipes for roasting, pureeing, sauteeing, oven baking, fritterizing, spiralizing, and tucking into flatbreads. I’ve come up with an application for veg that works well non-delicate, non-leafy vegetables such as beets, turnips, rutabaga, cabbage, eggplant, squash, and also, provided you slice into thick “steaks”, cauliflower and broccoli. I’m naming it “Steam, Sear and Slather.” It even sounds Pimp-y, right?
Jokes aside, this is one of my favorite ways of preparing because you can prepare it partially, then refrigerate until later, and you can prepare a giant batch at once for eating during the week. It uses less oil than roasting vegetables (at least the way I roast vegetables, which is: I like to really lubricate them and then blast them on high heat to get a moist and chewy interior and a charred exterior) and creates a wonderful umami flavor. What you do is, you steam, you sear in olive oil or your preferred fat, and then you slather with your preferred sauce. Let’s see what this looks like with cabbage:
I started with half of a green and red head of cabbage:
Now for the slather. I like cabbage either with butter and salt, or with an aggressive anchovy/caper/parsley/garlic/olive oil type sauce. What I usually do, however, is simply use what I have on hand. That could be tomato sauce; lemon juice + garlic + olive oil; harissa thinned out with some yogurt; a curry; a satay-type sauce; chermoula; chimchirri, or pesto. The idea is to get some flavor onto the vegetables, and you can be as simple or complicated as you like. This past weekend I was out of capers and anchovies, but had some cherry tomatoes and some of Sonal’s beautiful curry powder, and some yogurt. I blackened the tomatoes in the broiler for a couple of minutes, with a tablespoon each of olive oil and curry powder, then blended the living daylights out of them with some added yogurt. Voila!
Happy New Year !