Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

October 19, 2010

My Favorite Winter Vegetables

As much as I like summer, come the first nippy days, I’m ready for a change. The most dramatic switch is from salads to vegetables. Luckily, the farmers market on 82nd Street
off York Avenue, offers the freshest, most appealing vegetables. I came home with an armful of tender, young carrots, golden–colored cauliflowers, and baby-sized Brussels sprouts.

To avoid vegetable overkill, I opened two cans of sardines, dribbled some lemon juice over them and served them with hard boiled eggs as an appetizer.

Boneless Portuguese Canned Sardines in Olive Oil
Hard Boiled Eggs
Caramelized Carrots
Baked Cauliflower with Cheese
Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar
Wine: Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2009

George loved the caramelized carrots because they were nice and sweet. Personally I prefer carrots râpées, but am usually too lazy to grate them.

Caramelized Carrots
1 bunch baby carrots 
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and a pinch of sugar

I peeled the carrots, cut them into 1” sized pieces, and steamed them over boiling water till tender (about 35-40 minutes). When ready to serve, I sautéed the carrots with butter in a hot skillet, added salt and sugar and cooked them until lightly browned.
Cauliflower seems an underestimated vegetable. I like it a lot, particularly cooked this way. 

Baked Cauliflower with Cheese

1small head of cauliflower
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)
Sea salt and black pepper
Grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

I cut the cauliflower into florets and arranged them in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Next, I sprinkled lemon juice over the cauliflower, drizzled the florets with olive oil, and added salt and pepper.  I baked the dish in the preheated oven, uncovered, till cooked through (about 30-35 minutes), and the tops had turned lightly brown. I removed the baking pan from the oven and poured the remaining pan juices over the cauliflower and sprinkled them with a generously portion of finely grated Parmesan.
As a child, I hated Brussels sprouts. The fact that my family assured me that one day I might find a pearl in one of the Brussels sprouts did nothing to alleviate my intense dislike for the dish. Who knows? Maybe they overcooked the Brussels sprouts. Maybe my palate has grown more sophisticated. Anyway, I have totally changed my mind.

Brussels sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Salt & pepper

The Brussels sprouts were so small, they didn’t need any trimming. I blanched the sprouts in boiling water for 5 minutes, drained and rinsed them under cold water.

I heated the olive oil in a skillet and sautéed the garlic for a few minutes. Next, I tossed the Brussels sprouts into the skillet and sautéed them for about 8 minutes. (I like them slightly underdone.) Then I poured the Balsamic vinegar over the sprouts. To finish I added the butter, salt and pepper.


Robert said...

Our favorite carrot dish is to roast them on parchment paper on a baking pan at 350 degrees after marinating them in oil and a little salt. We do the same with sliced fennel which is good, but the fennel diminishes in size. Winter vegetable dishes are always welcome. Thanks!

Our Daily Dinner said...


Sounds great, particularly with fennel which I love but don't know how to handle. How long do you roast either one?