Your recipe is to x vegetable as Esquites is to Corn
September 11, 2012 2:43 AM   Subscribe

Mindblowingvegrecipefilter: I couldn't have cared less about sweetcorn. Then I discovered esquites, one of the greatest things I've ever eaten. Please tell me all and any of your recipes that make any given vegetable(s) as good as this terrific dish makes corn. Any cuisine, any veg. Thanks!
posted by ominous_paws to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
Moutabal/baba ghanoush.

Chermoula aubergine.

Prepare to fall in love with eggplants.

If you want to fall in love with vegetables again, then let Yotam Otolenghi's book Plenty be your cupid. The Guardian has lots of his recipes free (including ones with meat and fish).
posted by MuffinMan at 3:05 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

aargh. Ottolenghi.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:17 AM on September 11, 2012

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts After the lid comes off, I normally blast the heat and flip them over to get some crisping on the round sides too. I can eat copious amounts of these.
posted by Fig at 4:31 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

You lost me at "couldn't have cared less about sweet corn," but I'll play. Believe it or not cauliflower that is roasted in the oven with butter is one of the most heavenly things you can eat. Here's Ruhlman's recipe for a whole head, but that takes forever and I like to cut the head up.

Preheat the oven to 400. Toss it with some salt, pepper, a Tbsp of olive oil (helps keep it moist), and about four tablespoons of butter on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. You need to get your hands dirty and really get the butter all over the place.

Put it high up in the oven, not on the top rack, but the next one down. Roast for a good 45 minutes, tossing the cauliflower about halfway through. You want the cauliflower dark brown. I once left it in longer than I intended and thought "oh shoot, I burned it!" but when I took it out and ate it was AMAZING. Don't burn it, just go longer than you think you should.

I seriously could eat this every day. If you have leftovers (doubtful, but one time I made two heads of this stuff because it's that good) you can mix it with some mashed potatoes, onions, and a little cheese and make hash.
posted by Kimberly at 4:44 AM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Take numerous cloves of raw garlic and combine with olive oil by way of food processor or mincing and then mortar and pestle, add salt and set aside.

Take ripe plantain. Slice into inch thick rounds. Pan-fry in a little neutral oil until browned on both sides, drain. Use large, blunt object like the bottom of a mortar or a heavy cutting board to slowly, evenly smoosh slices flat so the edges kind of break open and allow access to soft insides. Fry carefully in half an inch of neutral oil or so on both sides until crispy golden delicious. Drain and allow to cool, sprinkling salt on both sides while still hot.

Dip tostones into pungent garlic stuff. Find yourself uncontrollably eating all of them before you can even leave the kitchen.
posted by Mizu at 5:07 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kale Chips. Ridiculously good. Even my finicky kindergartener, who willingly eats almost nothing but waffles and macaroni and cheese, eats these as fast as I can make them.
posted by apparently at 6:35 AM on September 11, 2012

1. Take a vegetable and cut it up.
2. Put olive oil and course salt on it.
3. Broil it until there are crispy edges.

Broccoli is probably my favorite because the tree-leaves take on a lot of texture, but I'm failing to come up with something this doesn't work for. Maybe iceberg lettuce wouldn't be so good.
posted by cmoj at 7:16 AM on September 11, 2012

Sweet potato crack: Sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and lots of minced garlic and thyme. Roast at 400 for, say, 35-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and have gone brown in spots. It's amazing, and I'll eat an entire bowlful of it and declare it a meal. So, so good.
posted by MeghanC at 8:21 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Maybe iceberg lettuce wouldn't be so good.

No, but romaine hearts are amazing grilled or (my preference) quickly browned in a very hot pan. Slice each heart in half longways, brush cut sides with olive oil, cook, then get crumbled goat cheese onto it while it's still hot. Dress gently with a light vinaigrette or just a squeeze of lemon or orange.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:25 AM on September 11, 2012

Corn soup: Broil or grill the corn (whole, in-husk), slice off the kernels (protip: it's less messy if you break it in half first). Put the cobs (yes, the center bits) in a pot with some water and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, chop and fry some bacon, then saute some chopped onions in the bacon fat, adding minced garlic at the end. Combine the corn stock, bacon, onions, corn kernels, along with some lime juice and a bunch of powdered chipotle, and you've got a delicious soup.

For cauliflower, first cook in a wok on high heat -- you want some char. Then add pine nuts and let them brown a bit. Finally, add some miso paste, a bit of honey, and water, and cover to finish cooking.
posted by novalis_dt at 8:50 AM on September 11, 2012

Edamame: if you're not thrilled with plain edamame-in-the-pod, try tossing it with sesame oil, coarse sea salt, and Korean red pepper flakes or Japanese shichimi togarashi. Or replace the lima beans in succotash with shelled edamame.

Jicama: cube small and mix 1:1 with tomato in a standard pico de gallo salsa.

Zucchini: braise slowly in olive oil flavored with herbs, ala this Just Hungry post.

Cauliflower: batter and fry Italian-style, or Indian-style with chickpea flour.
posted by WasabiFlux at 12:53 PM on September 11, 2012

Snap a couple pounds of green beans into a 9x13 dish. Add a couple heads' worth of peeled garlic cloves and a whole onion, sliced into chunks. Toss with olive oil and some coarse salt. Roast for about an hour at 350, first half covered with foil, stirring occasionally, until cloves are soft. Add a few dashes of balsamic vinegar. Serve with thinly sliced fabulous baguette and good butter, spreading the garlic on the bread and scooping up beans and onions. One of my all time favorite meals (you might want to have Beano first).
posted by purenitrous at 8:19 PM on September 11, 2012

Simmer corn cobs in salted coconut milk. Serve drizzled with reduced/thickened coconut milk and fresh cilantro.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:00 AM on September 12, 2012

The recipe that changed my mind about okra (and is easy as hell to boot):

Sauteed Okra with Quick Tomato Sauce

Choose okra pods that are small and firm (large pods tend to be tough and slimy).

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound small okra (no more than 3 inches long), stems removed
Salt and ground black pepper
4 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the okra and cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer the okra to a bowl.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the empty pan. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in the okra and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the basil and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Molly Wizenberg of Orangette's Roast Cauliflower with Salsa Verde sounds weird but is crazy good. I went through a phase a couple years back where it was the only way I wanted to eat cauliflower (and I already love cauliflower). Melissa Clark has a recipe for cauliflower tossed with toasted cumin and served with yogurt and pomegranate seeds that is a nice change of pace too.

Dorie Greenspan's Garlicky Breadcrumb Broccoli adds a textural dimension the stuff often lacks, and retains the nutty depth of flavor truly browned broccoli has. Her Lemon-Steamed Spinach is also weirdly magical, just subtly different and welcome given how simple it is.

Jane and Michael Stern of Road Food fame's White Bread Broccoli Casserole sounds atrocious and trashy but is bizarrely awesome. Seriously. Make sure to use shitty pillowy-soft white bread.

Not a veggie per se but it's treated like a savory side dish for dinner, not a sweet ending, is another Orangette recipe, Green Mango Salad with Macadamia Nuts. So good.

Molly's French Green Lentil Salad also rules. (Can you tell yet that Molly taught me how to love cooking veggies?) Luisa Weiss' Tomatoes Filled with Rice are also bizarrely tasty given the simplicity. And Pappa al Pomodoro is a wonder unto itself with the ripest, summeriest tomatoes of the year, but I also tend to think of that as cheating kind of, and also doesn't really put the veggie in a new, wondrous light so much as highlight its veggieness to the nth degree.

A well known Japanese dish, kabocha squash croquettes are really tasty and somewhat novel outside of Japan. You don't have to use kabocha (though it is wonderful); other winter squash/pumpkin will do. Doing it with panko helps it stay crispy and not too greasy or soggy, yum.

Sweet Potato and Crystallized Ginger Salad is really nice. I often find sweet potato dishes comforting and buttery sweet and whatnot, but lacking constrasts and nuanced flavor. The ginger helps with that.

My mom's Asian Cucumber Salad is dead simple and a bit retro but whenever I take it to a summer potluck people beg me for the recipe. Funny because it's so simple. I think it gets even better if you let it sit for a long time, like hours. The cukes don't go limp as fast as you'd think.

2 cups Japanese cucumbers--thinly sliced (I used English)
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers with salt and mix well. Add sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and mix well. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and mix. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

Cook's Illustrated had a recipe a while back for Tarragon Cucumber Vinegar Salad too that was delicious and helpful in prepping the cukes so they aren't watery. Can't find it online offhand though...

Mark Bittman's Tender Spinach with Crispy Shallots is one of my favorite cooked spinach recipes. The shallots are pure sweetness like the best caramelized onions but also have a depth of flavor beyond that (as shallots tend to). The lemon juice brightens and balances things out. S'good.

In terms of novelty, I really enjoy Melissa Clark's Eggplant with Green Goddess Dressing.
posted by ifjuly at 9:16 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

This recipe for Acorn Squash with Lime Vinaigrette is unusual and insanely good. Whenever I make this for a group of people it's the first thing that gets eaten.
posted by jrichards at 10:30 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just a quick thank you to everyone who's contributed here. You're all wonderful and so are your recipes. Interesting that the ratio of bookmarks/favourites for the thread to actual posts within it is so high - clearly the world is in desperate need of delicious vegetable recipes!
posted by ominous_paws at 3:53 AM on September 18, 2012

If you can get yard-long beans, get those and cut them in half or thirds, depending on how yard-long they are. Just use green beans otherwise. Mince a lot of garlic. Dry-fry the beans (in a dry skillet, obviously) on high heat until you've got charred spots and they're all blistery. Take them out, add vegetable oil, and put the garlic in. Move it around quickly and briefly because there's nothing good about burned garlic and take off the heat. Put your beans back in and toss with salt.

A restaurant I used to live near had these and they're good enough that I had to figure out how to do it. I have a friend who is the type who only eats vegetables on a hamburger and he loves this.
posted by cmoj at 8:21 AM on September 18, 2012

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