About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006
Vegetable Meme
Chef Paz recently invited anyone to have a go at a vegetable meme she recently did, so here's my take on it.

Do you like vegetables?

Of course, some times meat free is just the thing. You can play around more with them, taste and texture is always varied.

Do you have a favourite vegetable?

Not really, though I go through phases, usually tied to the seasons, just when I'm getting sick of one thing, something else comes along. Amongst my favourites are potatoes, tomatoes, all legumes and rocket.

Is there any vegetable that you think (or know) most people don't like, but you find great?

Stinging nettles.


Okay, I don't know if most people don't like it, but my wife loathes it and calls it pig food. The strange thing is that it grows freely in my sister-in-law's garden and every time I threaten to pick some, it disappears! Makes a great soup and I'm dying to try it in a rissotto.

Is there any vegetable that you think (or know) most people find great, but you don't love that much.


What experiences did you have with it?

My mum was forever trying to get me to eat it, boiled, roasted, mashed, it didn't matter, I always gagged on it. Even to this day, I do not like green eggs and ham, Sam I am. Oops sorry, parsnips.

What kind of vegetables are unusual to you?

Kohlrabi and celeriac. Nothing wrong with them, in fact love them, just came to them late.

Name a couple of vegetables that you cook and eat.

Green beans simmered in tomato sauce with garlic and kohlrabi simply grated and dressed with lemon juice and seasoned.

Which vegetables do you want to know more about and bring into your kitchen?

Kale and samphire, very hard to find here.

Some thoughts about vegetables.

I know that I will probably never become a vegetarian, but I like smallish pieces of meat with plenty of veggies. They definitely stimulate my appetite and I never feel bad about eating a lot of them. All right, maybe chips. They bring colour and movement to the plate, along with bucket loads of taste and flavour.

Name a great cookbook.

Antonio Carluccio's Vegetables, all the common and not so common vegetables, with interesting recipes.

This one isn't part of the meme, just a recipe for a vegetable snack.

Fried Okra

1/2 kg (1 lb) okra
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
salt & pepper
1 cup cornmeal or polenta
1 cup plain (all purpose), flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 bunch coriander, coarsely chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges
oil for frying

Trim the stem from the okra and cut into bite sized pieces. In a bowl place buttermilk, egg and seasonings, whisk to incorporate. In another bowl mix cornmeal, flour, cayenne and seasonings. Put the okra pieces into the buttermilk, lift with a slotted spoon and place into cornmeal/flour mixture. Heat oil until frying temperature and fry okra in batches until done. Keep warm in a low oven until all the okra is fried, garnish with coriander and wedges of lime.

I don't usually nominate people, but I would like to see kitchen hand, vicious ange and if he's got time, tomato, have a go. Only if you want too.

  posted at 2:37 pm

At 5:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. Posting soon!

At 9:31 am, Blogger Gigi said...

I've never even heard of eating stinging nettles! The things you learn.

I've been on a kale kick recently ~ I just can't get enough of it. Unfortunately, my husband can and has. But it's terrific sauteed with oil, sausage and garlic and tossed with pasta.

What's rocket?

At 9:48 am, Blogger Ed said...

What I miss about home is my mother's stinging nettle soup. And Samphire! I've never found it here although kale seems to be easier when it's in season. I'll take it on the meme although the shame is I'll have to think up other than my most useful – Antonio Carluccio's Vegetables. Give me a day or so.

At 1:31 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi Kitchen hand, no probs.

Hi gigi, it's a strange world, was reading the other day that the stinging spines on the nettle are chemically related to opals! Fortunately they break down with heat.

Hi Ed, samphire grows around the coast, the places I've found it are in mangrove estuaries, probably not far from that duck farm you talked about. I bet you got your copy of Antonio's book at the same Dymocks book sale we got ours, it was well marked down.

At 10:01 pm, Blogger Ed said...

Each Christmas Hardie Grant the book publisher has a sale where they are massively marked down and as J works on the mag side there I always getr a couple of gems. AC Veggies really didn't deserve to be marked down. This year it was Casa Moro. I'll look harder for Samphire- back home it usually involves abseiling down cliffs to get to the stuff. H-W whitingstall was doing it a while ago in his show in between eating squirrels and pan frying afterbirth.

At 9:58 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi Ed, your right, it's such a great book and didn't deserve to be marked down. The two places I've found samphire are at Tooradin, which is at the top of Western Port, and Robertsons Beach, the other side of Port Albert, no cliffs involved, and no nekkid gnomes either.

Hi Paz, glad you liked it, such a great subject. Stinging nettles may also be called nettles, they usually grow wild near fresh water, but also appear as weeds in gardens, use gloves to pick them!

At 3:59 pm, Blogger Ange said...

Have just seen this so will have a think & post mine soon. Off the top of my head, potoatoes, my peasant polish/lithuanian roots coming through, boring but I LOVE THEM IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM (apart from raw)

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