Saturday, April 5, 2014

unusual veggies

Pesach, and the vegetable everyone thinks about (and rolls their eyes): potatoes. Well, it does not have to be this way.

Today we tasted daikon at a friend's house. She just had it sliced on a platter, laid out with min-peppers. Even my picky husband liked it. Voila, it is making it on my menu. It is a type of radish, but the taste is mild and watery, more like asian pear.

Another veggie which can also be eaten raw is jicama. I saw a fellow teacher eating it for lunch back in Houston and I tried it and liked it. There are recipes for jicama salads and slaw, but it can be eaten just as is, peeled and sliced.

Next two veggies are not so far out there, but they have a reputation of being too funky. I am talking about beets and kale. Both require a bit more prep, but both are worth it, just for contrast of color and nutritional punch compared to potatoes.


Golden beets
Scrub them well, them put them in a pan covered with foil. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and wrap them tightly in foil. Roast at 400 for an hour, longer if the beets look large. Let them cool for an hour still wrapped up, then unwrap and the skins will slip right off. You can slice them or dice them and eat them as they are, or toss them with salt, pepper, olive oil, a drizzle of wine vinegar, and some herbs. Some scallions go well with them too. Also a bit of sweetness from honey or a spoonful of sugar adds a nice touch. Don't stop at red beets, they also come in golden color and make for an attractive mix.


It could be a bit intimidating, but I tasted a great kale salad at the same friend's house who served daikon today and I was hooked ever since. The trick is to wash it well and rinse a bunch of times, and to remove the tough stems. My kids like kale chips: preheat oven to 275, spread kale in a single layer on a baking sheet, spray lightly with cooking spray (or toss with oil), then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the leaves are crisp. These chips are seriously addictive, especially straight out of the oven, when they are the crispest.

There is also massaged kale salad. I originally got the recipe from, but I do not see it there any more. It is really yummy, and I got special requests for this one ( unfortunately, not from my family, they just want kale chips).

Happy exploration in the veggie aisle! What's your favorite unusual vegetable?

1 comment:

  1. Jerusalem Artichoke. I live them roasted with garlic and then a squeeze of lemon on top right before I eat them all...