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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Friday, March 09, 2007
A Vegetable Meme
I'm such a bad blogger. Honeybee from the lovely Swiss blog, Beurre et Pain tagged me for this meme an eternity ago. At the time I was busy, then I forgot for a bit, then I remembered and felt bad for a while, now it's done. Forgive me Honeybee for my tardiness, it's such a great subject.

1. Is there a vegetable you hated as a child, but came to love as you got older?

One vegetable that I loathed as a child was cauliflower. There was just something about it, perhaps it was the way my mum cooked it until completely soft and mushy and slightly cabbagy; it is a member of the Brassica family after all. These days I’m quite fond of it, unlike parsnips which I was most definitely right about – they are still awful. We usually have cauliflower plain, but I think that a good béchamel sauce flavoured with cheese, cheddar or gruyere, is a match made in heaven.

2. Most underrated vegetable?

A very hard question, but I think the gong would go to broccoli. It’s one of those love or hate vegetables, fortunately I love it, but it does tend to be ubiquitous. It always turns up in Chinese stir fry or in a bain marie at buffets badly cooked, but when it’s cooked well it adds just the right freshness. It is also two vegetables in one with the florets and the stalks. One of the nicest pasta sauces I know uses both parts and is really the essence of broccoli.

3. Name one favourite summer vegetable dish.

I love all the summer salads, but there is one dish that is really the taste of summer, even though this particular vegetable is available all year. The dish is lesco from Hungary, made from a variety of peppers, we use mild sweet ones flavoured with paprika. Stewing the peppers seems to add an extra dimension, but it is the summer peppers that seem to have the most sweetness and depth.

4. And one for winter?

One of the things I like the most is a soup my wife makes from beetroots. Being Polish she calls it barszcz, though most people know it as borscht. In the old days the soup was fermented to make it sour, but these days it is much easier to use vinegar. When it’s made well this soup has real depth but is also quite light. To make it more substantial, uszka (little ears), little pasta parcels filled with a mushroom mixture can be added.

5. What vegetables are in your fridge and freezer right now?

Olives, tomatoes (fresh & passata), potatoes (mashed & placki), horseradish, capers, red cabbage, lettuce, carrots, radishes, beetroots, spring (green) onions, cauliflower, cabbage (preserved bigos) water chestnuts, mushrooms and peas.

6. Is there a vegetable you really like but don't make much yourself?

Any member of the radicchio family, I really like the bitterness but my wife doesn’t share my taste with this one and I can appreciate that if you do find it too bitter you won’t enjoy - it can be a trial to eat them. Not that it stops me when I’m in the mood, though my suffering wife is starting to enjoy them a bit more.

Because it's so long since I was asked to do this, I won't tag anyone, but throw it open to all those who love vegetables, this might mean you, you & you. Only if you want.


  posted at 7:28 am

At 5:38 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I've always loved cauliflower; had some oven roasted tonight.
And broccoli is in our fridge 9 out of 10 times. Beets are good all ways although that's the one I thought I didn't like.
Now I'm off the check out lesco.

At 5:40 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ah, yes now I remember!

At 9:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what about brussels sprouts!?

At 6:57 pm, Blogger Cindy said...


At 9:09 pm, Blogger lobstersquad said...

Hi Neil
never pours but it rains, here´s another meme

At 2:21 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, can't say I've had oven roasted cauliflower, though I have had it fried which is pretty tasty.

Hi stephanie, I love brussel sprouts, but only in the cooler months. I think that you should consider yourself tagged!

Hi cindy, great post!

Hi lobstersquad, you're right there! Now to put my thinking cap on - I've got to remember a looong way back.


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