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Sep 11, 2006 05:25 PM

making vegetable haters into vegetable lovers

i need some vegetable advice.

some of the issues are:
making them ahead of time so that they will still be appetizing later.
making them tasty enough that they will be enjoyed even by unwilling vegtable eaters.

no sweet things, no beets. also, no microwave for re-heating.

does anyone have any smart ideas for me?

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  1. Roasting brings out the NATURAL sweetness in so many veggies... YUM!! I've had so many veggie haters convert after trying them roasted! :)


    1. Conceal them in sauces. Meat sauce chock full of vegetables is delicious but the vegetables are almost undetectable. Pesto is mostly basil, and great with whole leaves of basil, handfuls of baby greens, and tomatoes tossed in. Sauces keep well, for the most part.

      I agree with Dommy! that roasting is a good way to expose people to vegetables. Same goes with hearty meaty stews that happen to have a lot of vegetables in them.

      I think the trick is to expose vegetable haters to really delicious seasonal vegetables from a local farm. The first time I tried fennel I swore I would never eat it again, but I learned later that the fennel I'd had wasn't very fresh so it was extra bitter and had lost its sweetness. It's still not my favorite, but I'll eat it.

      1. My strategy is often fritters such as pakoras (chana dal flour or chickpea flour made into a loose dough into which combos of veggies are mixed and then fried - lots of cookbooks have recipes - Bittman has a good one inhis Best Recipes in the World book.

        I like chopped eggplant and chopped onions mixed into the batter. Zucchs are also good as are broc and caulif. Served with yoghurt mixed with cilantro, green onion, mint and garlic, they're great.

        Also tortillas filled with sauteed or roasted vegs served with salsa and yogh or sour cream and/or melted cheese.

        1. Try the Barefoot Contessa recipes. Many are roasted or simply sauteed and turn out great. Her recipes for cauliflower (au gratin) and brussels sprouts (with bacon) in the Paris cookbook convinced my husband that these vegetables could actually be good. To quote him: "This is the only way that cauliflower should be prepared."

          1. Another issue for preparation is that it can be as bad to undercook vegetables as to overcook. Many people have learned to like certain vegetables (green beans, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, et cet.) very crisp and relatively lightly touched by heat; vegetable haters would not tend to be those people. Try to cook all vegetable to tenderness, which is usually the point of most balanced flavor.