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Favorite Vegetables

Recently I've realized how glad I am that I love vegetables (and I'm a far cry from a vegetarian). I even thanked my parents the other day for forcing me to eat vegetables as a kid, as I remembered that my cousin at family functions would refuse and get away with it, and is still a picky eater today. I've noticed a lot of people (though not all) who don't like vegetables tend to be more narrow-minded when it comes to food. And while I can definitely enjoy a straight up meat+carb dish, I think it's more satisfying when a vegetable is included. When I'm low on money (especially as a perpetual student), throwing in some broccoli with standard pasta+oil+garlic completely elevates the meal. And of course, all the nutritional benefits. I had to hold back in insisting to my bf (who is trying to lose weight) to include a vegetable side to his dinner of ribs and mac and cheese. He was resigned to having a delicious but guilt-inducing meal. When trying to lose weight we tend to think of meals as delicious fatty indulgences or healthy and responsible bland filler.

THEREFORE, I thought it might be interesting to find out from fellow chowhounds what vegetables are your favorite and what ways you like to prepare them and include them in your meal (or even make it the centerpiece).

I love almost any vegetable roasted. My favorite side is a medley of roasted zucchini, yellow squash, green and red peppers, red and yellow onions. I like putting said medley in a wrap with a chipotle hummus. I love roasted grape tomatoes, roasted eggplant. I always think I can make people like vegetables by just roasting them.

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  1. My favorite vegetable? Whatever's in season! I grow my own organically, and grow as wide a variety as possible. Right now, the asparagus is winding down, and I just harvested the first of the broccoli.

    Mostly, we like our veggies very simply prepared---usually just heated in the microwave until tender-crisp. And, as you said, roasted. But we also enjoy them in Indian recipes. Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for Green Beans with Cumin and Fennel Seeds is one of our favorites

    http://babooblah.blogspot.com/2010/03...

    1. I really love most vegetables. Honestly, vegetables are almost all so good that I could eat them and nothing else forever.

      Except for the occasional cheese enchiladas, grilled ribeyes, and sushi. And cheese. And cherries and mangoes. Well, and pasta too.

      1. The best way for me to answer this question is to respond to the flip-side of what you are asking.

        In other words, it's easier for me to answer the question "What vegetables do you not like?".

        nswer? Very few.

        The only vegetable that I probably will not voluntarily buy or enjoy eating is iceberg lettuce.

        Everything else I really enjoy, prepped in just about any fashion, and eaten at any time of day.

        13 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          i'm with you ipse. unfortunately there are actually a few that i can't really enjoy anymore due to health reasons, but iceberg lettuce is the only one i choose not to bother with.

          oh, and i'll pass on any *over-cooked* vegetables too.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            What? No overcooked iceberg lettuce for you?

            :-)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I actually recently had a wedge salad at a restaurant: iceberg, bacon, blue cheese dressing. I hadn't had iceberg in about 20 years. It was good! very crisp in a way other lettuces are not and it actually tasted good ( aside from the very good sour cream/blue cheese/ lemon juice/pepper dressing.

              I love all vegetables. My favorites are : snap peas,english peas, asparagus, small japanese turnips, lacinato kale, fresh fresh romano beans , eggplant, kohlrabi,and tomatoes when they are perfect ( I know they are fruit) Oh and corn at its freshest just picked best.
              I like simple preps best: steamed, grilled, raw .

              1. re: magiesmom

                i was *just* thinking about the classic wedge salad because of this thread...haven't had one in years, and i do recall enjoying the crispness of the iceberg but i also remember thinking it was really just a vehicle for the dressing...which, considering my love of blue cheese, isn't/wasn't a bad thing ;)

                oy. now i'm craving it and i'm off dairy right now. argh!

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I can't imagine paying someone else to pour blue cheese dressing over a wedge of iceberg, though.

                  1. re: mcf

                    well as i said, i haven't had it in years - probably not since i was a teenager...when Dad was footing the bill ;)

                    of course these days i make all my own anyway, i don't think i've purchased salad dressing more than a handful of times since college...and even if i was willing to pay for it in a restaurant i'd be SOL because GF blue cheese products are pretty rare.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Really? They got gluten in the blue cheese?? I buy some dressings, because we like very different things, though I rarely use anything but some evoo, vinegar s and p on my salad. Lazy, I know. But blue cheese dressing is so quick and dirty...

                      1. re: mcf

                        the cheese itself sometimes contains gluten! certain blue/bleu varieties are grown on gluten-containing media, and there have been issues with cross-contamination even for the ones that aren't. it's actually getting easier to find GF ones, but you still have to be careful.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          WOW, that never would have occurred to me... you have to be so vigilant!

                          1. re: mcf

                            don't i know it! i learned about this particular issue the hard way when i was still a GF newbie.

                    2. re: mcf

                      The place l go to makes their own blue cheese dressing and it is awesome, the bacon is in lardons the size of your thumb, after all that the lettuce matters less.

                  2. re: magiesmom

                    About a year ago I had iceberg with divine blue cheese dressing. It made a very good salad. The dressing was a bit rich for my taste, but nevertheless it was wonderful. I haven't bought it in decades, and apparently others don't either, because I don't always see it offered at the grocer.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Really, you don't? There are about 20 varieties of it, from those on the shelves to those in the refrigerated cases most places I shop. And it's pretty much always one of the handful of dressings offered in restaurants.

              2. Mr. Pine is from India, so I've gotten used to any and all versions of Indian vegetable preparations. My favorite is probably eggplant, which is why I grow it every year. So versatile, takes to many ethnic variations and just darn pretty.

                1. So many to choose. I don't think there's a veg I don't like - although I'm not keen on okra.

                  If I had to choose just one (leaving aside the obvious choice of onion) - then let it be parsnip. So versatile, so tasty

                  1. Okra, Artichokes, Green Beans...
                    Spinach, Swiss Chard...

                    1. I truly want to say "potato" to this. The ex would never let me count potato as a veggie but technically it is, no? Either way, I damn well love potatoes and think they are the food of the gods. :)

                      I also love asparagus tips, onions, green onions, ummm. Yeah. I want to be cool and say greens, but I find a lot of greens too bitter. Ooooh, I LOVE butternut squash.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: montrealeater

                        i wrote a manifesto on the great potato here but deleted it accidentally. my passion for the spud is possibly unsurpassed by anyone.

                        favorite dinner lately: a baked potato split open and stuffed to capacity with roasted chopped veggies tossed with olive oil, balsamic, garlic, s+p: carrots, onions, peppers, green beans, fresh sweet corn, kale, asparagus, cherry tomatoes... whatever i have on hand. topped with some shaved cheese--perfection. all veggies, all healthy, so delicious and filling. the humble potato makes a great ingestible plate for any dinner, IMO.

                        1. re: nothingswrong

                          mmmmmm...love that veggie filled baked potato idea ;)

                      2. Mexican grey squash

                        eggplant

                        green chilis

                        asparagus

                        tomatoes (I don't care if they are actually a fruit)

                        cucumbers, all kinds

                        bitter melon

                        radishes

                        beets

                        just about all greens

                        nd I dont think I'd want to live in a world without onions & garlic.

                        1. There are very, very few I do not like. My favourites would include the following fresh from the garden:

                          - green beans (roasted, steamed or tempura)
                          - all types of greens including microgreens, mustard, baby arugula, mesculun mix, endive, spinach, etc.
                          - leeks (gratin, roasted, grilled)
                          - onions, esp. scallions
                          - red peppers, poblanos, Thai chili, etc.
                          - new potatoes
                          - raw garden peas or steamed
                          - raw garden carrots (well, cooked as well but love 'em raw)
                          - English cucumbers
                          - Brussels sprouts (braised or roasted)
                          - broccoli (steamed or roasted)
                          - cauliflower (esp. raw or roasted)
                          - butternut squash (roasted)
                          - spaghetti squash (roasted)
                          - zucchini (esp. raw or grilled)
                          - asparagus (shaved raw, grilled or roasted)
                          - radishes (braised or raw)
                          - corn on the cob (grilled)
                          - fava beans

                          Most best with fresh herbs from the garden, of course!

                          1. roasted cauliflower, zucchini "chips", sweet potatoes, red onions, sugar snap peas, portobello mushroom caps grilled with rosemary and balsamic vinaigrette, tomatoes with mozzarella and basil,

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: danionavenue

                              mmm +1 on the cauliflower. chopped into tiny "popcorn" florets, they are so good roasted on a bed of pasta. that has to be one of my favorite ways of eating them. or with roasted potatoes and green beans... i could eat just that for a week's worth of dinners. don't know why, but i love the combo.

                            2. Should have figured that most chowhounds love vegetables. I know too many picky eaters! I'd love to know more of how you like your veggies prepared because I'm always trying to incorporate veggie side dishes. I usually do steamed broccoli tossed with a bit of butter and S&P, spinach sauted with garlic, and roasted squash and peppers. Lately I've been doing brussel sprouts sauteed with balsamic vinegar, a little bit carmelized, mm...

                              1. i love farmers market turnips that come in the fall. sweet turnips that taste like corn and are rich like a potato, topped with tasty greens that are the best greens available.

                                1. Honestly I dislike most veggies and my husband has to force me to eat them. There are only a couple veggies that I will eat without protest. Asparagus (thin, delicate kind) with lemon butter or hollandaise. Kale cooked down with lime and onions. David Chang's brussels sprouts and carrots. Leeks in soup with potato. That's about it though.

                                  1. Hard to answer because there are so many options. :-)

                                    There are some vegetables I love, but tend not to eat very often due to price and/or availability; artichokes, zucchini and summer squash, beet greens, beets, kale, curly endive, mesclun mix, leaf lettuce that isn't iceberg or romaine... When I find these at a price I can manage, I snap them up and thoroughly enjoy.

                                    Then there are the totally pedestrian. I love celery and will happily crunch it down plain. And I love good carrots. Unfortunately, the only way to get good carrots, by my reckoning, is to grow them yourself, pull them from the ground, rinse them under the hose, and eat immediately. I haven't had this since I was at home as a child.

                                    For some favourite dishes -

                                    I love salad with fresh, ripe tomatoes and asian cucumbers, sliced and drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of coarse salt.

                                    Chaoyte squash leaves (aka dragon whisker vegetable). There are amazingly good sauted with a bit of garlic, or blanched served cold with a soy dressing, or steamed and served on rice porridge for breakfast. They keep their colour and crunch well when cooked.

                                    I like thick asparagus spears broiled with olive oil, a lemon zest, a bit of hot pepper and coarse salt, and topped with a big of shaved parmesan.

                                    Sauteed water spinach with garlic. I could eat this at every meal.

                                    A salad made with curly endive, t sauteed onions and bacon, and a warm dressing made with the bacon drippings, water, and vinegar, with a bit of sugar and salt. The combination fo slightly bitter, chewy greens, slightly wilted by the tangy meaty dressing is a wonderful.

                                    Winter squash, baked and mashed with butter, salt and pepper.

                                    Baby beets with their leaves, steamed and served with vinegar.

                                    Fresh garden leaf lettuce with a dressing of light cream, thickened with vinegar and seasoned with sugar until it's still a bit tangy, and flavoured with chopped green onions.

                                    Bitter melon with salty egg.

                                    Japanese mountain yam (tororo) sliced into matchsticks and served with a sesame dressing.

                                    Artichokes, boiled, served with lemon parsley butter sauce to dip the leaves in. Bonus points for the whole family chowing down and pitching the used leaves into a central bucket.

                                    There aren't many vegetables I don't like. I'm not fond of cooked turnip, and have never been keen on brussel sprouts.

                                    1. I'm the same way, I love vegetables. I can't really think of a vegetable I don't like prepared in some way - I try to tell people who say they "don't like vegetables" to try them in different ways. I love a tray of roasted root veggies(turnips, parsnips, potatoes, etc) with some sort of herby yogurt dip as a light meal or side dish. Roasted fennel is also awesome. People always think I am a vegetarian because I will choose vegetarian options or any dish that has a lot of veggies when I go out to eat. I make a minestrone type soup a lot as well, when I am busy I just chop up a bunch of veggies, add some herbs and beans and have a nice soup I can just reheat. Right now I am on a gazpacho kick.

                                      1. In summer, the vegetables I raise myself. Tomatoes and peppers are at the top of a long list. In winter, potatoes and baked beans. As a fellow whose parents' veggie servings seldom veered from corn, peas, and spinach, I was surprised to find when I went to college that there were not only other veggies out there but that I liked most of them.

                                        1. I don't think there's one vegetable out there that I wouldn't eat. I love them all. My favorites are the one I grow.

                                          When I was a child, my family thought I was going to grow up to be a vegetarian. I would always ask for seconds of vegetables before even touching my protein. I was the only 7 year old they had ever heard that specifically asked for lima beans, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower on a regular basis.

                                          Love them all!

                                          1. Grilled Ratatouli ( sp?) of eggplan, zukes, tomatoes, peppers, and onions tossed with fresh herbs and balsamic. vinagerette

                                            Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce

                                            Roasted beets with roasted onion and garlic

                                            Grilled asparagus

                                            baby bok choy and leeks simmered in chicken stock and soy sauce

                                            Jicama and fennel in salad

                                            Mache and butter lettuce

                                            english peas w/ butter and cardamom

                                            1. The lowly ONION is my favorite, becaue almost all the cooking we do use it, and it's usually the first thing to be cooked. Imagine if there were no onions, what would be do!! We could do without eggplant, tomatoes, artichokes, they are all substitutable. The only vegetable that's not substitutable is the onion.. the foundtion and base of nearly all cooking.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: arktos

                                                +1.

                                                ETA: Billy Crystal was talking about filming "Mr Saturday Night", which was semi-autobiographical. They reproduced his aunt's apartment growing up, almost to a T, but something was missing. As soon as they rubbed some fried onions on the doorknobs, he said 'That's it!'

                                              2. Cucumbers and cauliflower. Cukes I like raw but cauli I'll eat any way possible - steamed, boiled, mashed, roasted, puree, and raw. One of my favorites. I always try to eat veggies in season but can deal w/ frozen out of season (except cukes)/

                                                1. there's but few i don't love in one capacity or another.... my favorites...
                                                  cauliflower
                                                  eggplant
                                                  artichoke
                                                  hearts of palm - like one of my favorites
                                                  broccoli (not raw preferably)
                                                  summer squash and chayote and spaghetti
                                                  onions
                                                  green beans
                                                  asparagus
                                                  brussel sprouts
                                                  cabbage
                                                  celery
                                                  carrots
                                                  fennel (thinly sliced in salad or roasted under chicken)
                                                  greens (kale, mustard, collards, bok choy)
                                                  tomatoes - are we considering fruit or veg?
                                                  mushrooms - fungi?
                                                  sunchokes/jerusalem artichokes
                                                  ube - if we're considering tubers

                                                  the few i really don't like or maybe won't touch: bell peppers, corn, peas, turnips, parsnips, and really prefer not to have winter squashes

                                                  aside from the occasional meals out for sushi or fish, or egg white omelettes, i would be quite content to eat veggies forever... in fact, i mostly do.

                                                  1. I love almost all vegetables, but these are my favorites: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, bitter lettuces, beets, radishes, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, straight-from-the-garden green beans, celery, spinach.

                                                    1. It is hard to pick favorites

                                                      eggplant that has been salted and sauteed in olive oil then baked with tomato sauce, chopped onion, and pecorino.

                                                      stuffed artichokes, not the globe ones so much

                                                      baked beets drizzled w/olive oil

                                                      green beans and wax beans ~~ but never ever the frozen ones

                                                      tiny petite peas (although I count them as a carb)

                                                      roasted corn when I am visitng my family in New York and Pennsylvania (again, a carb)

                                                      onions and garlic, without which I could not function

                                                      fresh roasted red (and orange and yellow) bell peppers, NOT green.

                                                      1. I guess my favorites--except for salad greens which I eat almost every day--would depend upon what was at the Farmers' Market. Right now that's green/yellow beans, cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini with artichokes a special treat.

                                                        1. The onion, leek, carrot and potato are my favourites as I they are essential. At the moment I cannot think of a vegetable I dislike except for turnips and beets (though I want to love them).

                                                          1. I'm trying to think of my favorites, but I can't come up with one!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE vegetables, and in fact, I think they make up 90% of my food intake.... The only one I don't' like is green peppers.... but my favorite might be brussels sprouts, broccoli, or rainbow chard. I eat one of the three EVERY day....

                                                            1. I like most vegetables DESPITE the fact that my parents forced me to eat revolting mushy frozen sorry excuses for them. In other words, I don't think that forcing kids to eat them or anything else is good parenting. Instead, with my own kids, I introduced them to a wide variety of foods and encouraged them to taste everything. But never did I force them to eat anything. What I didn't do was expect that because they were kids, they would only like chicken nuggets, and pizza, for instance.

                                                              They are grown now, and one has somewhat limited taste preferences, while the other will eat just about anything.

                                                              Anyhow, back to vegetables, I didn't taste a fresh vegetable other than as part of a salad until I was an adult with my own apartment. What a revelation!

                                                              1. In my post above I neglected to mention celeriac as a staple along with onions, potatoes, leeks and carrots.

                                                                1. While I enjoy some more than others, I can honestly say that I've yet to meet a vegetable I didn't like. I must be healthy as h*ll thanks to always eating a wide variety of them year-round.

                                                                  I guess the only vegetable that would be low on my list was Cardoon. I made what should have been a lovely gratin with it via a recipe from Saveur magazine, but it wasn't the recipe - the Cardoons just left me with a "meh" feeling. Didn't hate it, just wouldn't bother with it again.

                                                                  1. Squash, okra, and sweet potatoes are my favorites. My new love is roasted brussel sprouts.

                                                                    I love vegetable, especially oven roasted with a sprinkle of olive oil.

                                                                    1. Yum! I feel so much more satisfied after eating vegetables. I can't think of one that I don't like.

                                                                      1. okra - blanched and dipped in ketchup like fries (weird?)
                                                                        brussels sprouts - like this: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
                                                                        bok choy - blanched and eaten plain
                                                                        cucumbers - either raw or cooked for noodle soup
                                                                        red radishes - sliced thin and marinated with soy, vinegar, and sesame oil
                                                                        sweet potatoes - roasted

                                                                        mmm... i love vegetables.