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Nov 1, 2010 11:18 AM

Vegetables so robust you need a steak-knife

When the weather turns a bit chilly, I tend to want -- or really, crave -- hearty robust vegetables.

You know, the kind that when properly prepared requires a steak knife to handle and eat.

For example, cauliflower simply cut in half and roasted (or broccoli) is a good example. You get this slightly charred outer layer (from time under the broiler), and this meaty center that is a bit gooey but still firm. In no way is it "fork-tender" ... it is, as I like to call it, roasted to a "steak-knife ready" doneness.

But I am at loss for other good candidates.

Any ideas?

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  1. Portobello mushrooms are always good and meaty - porcinis too, if you can find them.

    14 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      Some would argue that mushrooms are not vegetables ...


      1. re: ipsedixit

        I was going to say portobello mushrooms as well!
        But hey, if you're not considering them veggies, more for me!!

        Not sure if this is going to fall under super robust.. but a whole roasted beet drizzled with a decadent sauce. I love the idea of cutting into a beet that's allll mine and I don't have to share.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Interesting....if not vegetables then what?

          1. re: Cherylptw

            They're fungi, aren't they? But of course on a dinner plate, they're vegetables.

            I've never tried plantains--would they qualify as robust?

            1. re: Cherylptw

              I think it's debatable whether mushrooms are vegetables or not. There certainly is no "scientific" definition of "vegetable".

              Mushrooms are not plants; they are fungus.

              While we all can agree that mushrooms are fungus, the debatable question becomes, "are fungi vegetables?" Who knows.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Sure, everyone knows they're fungi but as far I know they're considered veggies. I thought you were going to direct me to some other new informtion (lol)

                1. re: Cherylptw

                  Well, here's one link: and another:

                  Mushrooms are classified in their own Kingdom -- i.e., Fungi -- and not part of the Plant Kingdom.

                  In light of that, it would be kind of odd to consider mushrooms a "vegetable".

                  Maybe in culinary terms, one may consider mushrooms to be vegetables in the same way people consider a tomato to be a vegetable (even though botanically they are a fruit).

                  Just food for thought ...

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  "I think it's debatable whether mushrooms are vegetables or not. There certainly is no 'scientific' definition of 'vegetable'. "


                  1. re: lacunacoil

                    Come again? I'm too dense ... not sure I understand.

                      1. re: lacunacoil

                        That's a classification, not a definition.

                          1. re: lacunacoil

                            By that definition, then, mushrooms are not vegetables.


                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              "By that definition, then, mushrooms are not vegetables.


                              "A plant used or cultivated for food for man or domestic animals,"


          2. You know, lettuce might seem like the wimpiest and least hearty of vegetables, but you can't eat a good rough-torn wilted lettuce salad (with hot bacon & bacon grease) without a knife and fork.


            5 Replies
            1. re: blue room

              Yes, lettuce indeed would be a good choice. Or maybe even cabbage.

              And, yeah, as far as I am concerned a proper Caesar salad really does require some sort of sharp object to properly eat.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Along those lines, brussel sprouts, kale, swiss chard.

                And, along the broccoli lines, broccolini, broccoflower, broccoli rabe. So are green beans.

                1. re: chowser

                  And, along the broccoli lines, broccolini, broccoflower, broccoli rabe. So are green beans.


                  Really? A steak-knife to eat brocollini? And rabe as well? They're both so tender, even raw, that a slight steam bath and they become fork tender.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Really? Not for me. But, maybe I tend to undercook my vegetables. Or, maybe my cutting hand needs a good workout.

                    1. re: chowser

                      Or maybe your buying old (i.e. not young) brocollini and rabe?

            2. I always worry when restaurants provide a special knife to cut steak - always makes me think they aren't going to have cooked it properly and I'm rarely wrong.

              1. I just heard yesterday that pumpkin is actually a berry, not a vegetable!

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