Saturday, April 2, 2011

Summery Winter-Vegetable Dishes

While this may sound like an odd thing at first, really think about it. In the middle of winter, Ontarians are bombarded by mountains of potatoes and carrots and other starchy root vegetables. What happens say, on a cold March evening when you're craving a summery BBQ? Yes, you could buy out-of-season corn and peas and watermelon, but for those trying to keep their diet local, why not try your hand at a "summery" winter-vegetable dish.
These three are my new favourite this month!

1. A coleslaw made out of finely shredded celeriac, carrots, purple and green cabbage and a homemade mayonnaise with local egg yolks, oil, cider vinegar and salt. Garnish with greenhouse cilantro if you can find it!
2. A buttery lentil and bacon salad served luke warm. Simply boil green lentils (until just underdone) and fry some bacon separately. Remove the bacon from the pan, fry the lentils in the fat, deglaze with homemade chicken stock and thrown in whatever dried herbs you fancy! Ie: thyme: marjoram, even curry or chili would be nice... Let the lentils become fully cooked (serve al-dente), season and garnish with the crumbled bacon.
3. For a wonderfully versatile bean dip, blend and overcooked bean with creme fraiche, greenhouse cilantro, a clove of garlic, a few ounces of a quality aged cheese then come vinegar, salt and pepper to balance the flavour accordingly. Serve on breads/crackers, dip into with crudités, or thin it out to make a soup.

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