Friday, August 21, 2009

Loving Vegetables

...albeit somewhat reluctantly

Part of my internal goals for this garden were to help me love vegetables more. Homegrown, in season, fresh, heirloom veggies are to store bought, well traveled, out of season, grown-for-easy-shipping-rather-than-flavor veggies as looking at a Monet painting in person rather than seeing a fuzzy picture in a book without your reading glasses.

We successfully ate many spinach salads plucked fresh from the garden and they were great. Ditto for the Mesclun Mix of salad (also great on sandwiches). My Latah tomatoes are of a less flavorful variety than some of my later bearers but they are delicious in salads and on sandwiches and I am contemplating drying them for winter stews. Onions clearly belong in everything and potatoes are nature's most perfect food so neither of those have been a problem. My biggest hangups remain some of the green veggies: cooked spinach is still a crime in my mind (it's a texture thing, plain and simple); zucchini is only good in bread or (as I just learned) cookies; cooked broccoli is limp and slimy and I'd rather just eat it raw with ranch.

Today I am changing all of that. Well, except for the cooked spinach- I stand firm there. Apparently the keys to my loving zucchini and cooked broccoli are 1) barely cooking them; and 2) combining them with stove top stuffing. Last night I lightly sauteed some green onions, diced zucchini, and diced ham in a small saucepan, then cooked the stuffing according to the package directions after I had transfered the goodies to a bowl. I topped it with a chopped tomato that warmed in the stuffing and it was fabulous!! Today for lunch I have a slight variation: ham, zucchini, minced onion, and a small amount of the first (!) broccoli from our garden. Oh, and more tomatoes. The broccoli was barely in the pan for a minute when it turned the perfect shade of bright-go-light-green so I took it out while the onions, zucchini, and ham continued to soften and pop. The results: YUM!

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