One of my projects this summer has been learning to eat more vegetables than I did before. Don't get me wrong, I eat my veggies. I love green beans, corn, carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach and more. I think I do pretty well on eating a variety of vegetables. However, there's always room for improvement. I was especially motivated to improve my palate when I realized I was passing up so much of the beautiful, freshly grown produce at the local farmers market. I feel like I missed out on some great stuff, just because I was too picky to try it.
For some things, the problem was that of exposure. I've always said I didn't like beets, but I'd really never tried them. My mom never cooked with them. They only time I ever saw them was when they were quivering on my school cafeteria tray, oozing an unappetizing pink juice. Yuck. But I saw a couple slices on a tapas plate at Veranda in the spring and impulsively decided to try it. It was...not poison. Still wasn't sure I liked it, but I was willing to try again. It turns out I do like beets. Raw beets in a salad are delicious, but I especially like them roasted in the oven with olive oil and salt. Yum.
Zucchini...Not a success. My mom loves it, so it was on the table frequently as a kid, usually steamed. I cannot stand it steamed. Recently, I tried it grilled at home and breaded and deep fried at Figo. No good. There's something...not food about it. The flavor is too mild, the texture too soft. My brain rejects it. I think I'll try it again as zucchini bread, but then I'm done. It's too bad, because my husband loves it, but he doesn't want me to make it just for him.
Next up is eggplant, which I'm working on currently. I bought one last week and turned it into home made eggplant Parmesan. I did like it, but not as much as I thought I would. I don't think the fault was the vegetable, but the breading. It was a little bland for me. The actual eggplant wasn't terrible, just unfamiliar. I'm going to try it again, stir fried with garlic sauce. My husband loves ordering this at Chinese restaurants, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it too.
Next summer, I may tackle the most terrifying of all vegetables: okra.