The classic and derided English way of preparing vegetables was to boil them either too long or not long enough and serve with no seasoning. Thank heavens it’s a thing of the past, apart from an occasional old-fashioned pub here and there. I want to make sure rock-hard carrot and broccoli mush are long gone and celebrate vegetable dishes this week.
I love cooking vegetables and most are fantastically versatile. Cabbage for instance, often looked down upon, becomes almost magic when crispy and caramelised. It goes very well with just a slice of good ham or simply a baked potato. Spring cabbage makes possibly the best crunchy side salad in the world and stuffed cabbage rolls are a bit laborious a dish but totally worth the effort. And they freeze very well if you meal-plan.
Fennel is another flexible veg: a salad with orange and raisins or that with homemade ranch dressing will be wonderful with pan fried fish. But fennel is great baked too: potato and fennel gratin is a gorgeous standalone dish and not only for vegetarians.
Broccoli? As you wish, but who would ever boil it? Raw broccoli salad is absolutely fantastic and goes with anything, especially a stir fry, like kung pao chicken perhaps. Broccoli cheese is another side-for-main suggestion and let’s not forget broccoli and Stilton soup – this one made without a blender.
Beetroot has gone a long way from vinegar soused slices mixed with lettuce leaves and called ‘salad’ - a beetroot salad is crunchy and sweet, and best made from thinly sliced raw beet. Have that with cheese for lunch or alongside a roast chicken for dinner. And you can bake beetroot bread!
More veg ideas can be found in my content pages, and you can subscribe to the newsletter to remind you of new recipes coming up, a shaved Brussels sprouts salad among them.