Vegetables

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A vegetable recipe with a little beef

Shallow bowl of beef stew with large chunks of potato, garnished with chopped parsley.
Shallow bowl of beef stew with large chunks of potato, garnished with chopped parsley.
Photo: Mark Bittman

When it comes to eating, many of us like to start the year off on whatever we consider to be the “right foot.” For me, the “right foot” means cooking dishes where animal products recede into the background while plants take center stage. Not just in January, but always.

It’s a style that presents infinite opportunities. Finding myself with a pound of stew beef and a pantry full of (mostly) root vegetables, I decided to put the pressure cooker to work and produce a beef-and-root-vegetable stew that would stretch that pound of meat to serve 10 or 12 rather than…


In Japan, there’s a different perspective on vegetables

An illustration of broccoli
An illustration of broccoli
Illustrations: Kaki Okumura

I watched my friend add an extra three tablespoons of olive oil to her broccoli with a mixture of amazement and skepticism. She then broiled it in the oven until the florets were basically charred through, and the stems soft and wilted. Then she added a dollop of butter and a dash of salt.

The broccoli tasted good, but it didn’t quite taste… like broccoli anymore, I suppose.

Plain vegetables are not bland vegetables

Watching my friend cook broccoli, at first, it occurred to me that my friend was simply picky and didn’t like the taste of broccoli. But when I realized that she cooked all…


‘By far’

A plate of roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic
A plate of roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic
Photo: @beckyblairh via Instagram

The other day we saw that the most popular Thanksgiving recipe over on NYT Cooking — “by far” apparently — is Bittman’s Brussels sprouts with garlic. And while that version starts with browning sprouts on the stove in a cast-iron pan, the one below, from the updated How To Cook Everything, is even easier.

Brussels Sprouts With Garlic

Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint (about a pound) brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. For the crispiest sprouts, put the oiled baking sheet in the oven…


Plan on hitting a farmers market to make the best of the late-season bounty

Bushels of apples and plums
Bushels of apples and plums
Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

As summer winds down and conversations inevitably turn toward soups and stews and roasts, I tend to keep cooking as if it’s August, because as far as plants are concerned, it is.

There are still weeks of delicious, fresh picks at the farmers market, from tomatoes and squash to apples and plums. I rounded up all my peak-produce posts from this summer, along with a few other favorites.

Take a gander, hit the market, and keep cooking.


It could be ‘cat-facing’

Aerial view of a shallow bamboo tray filled with a single layer of red/brown/green heirloom tomatoes.
Aerial view of a shallow bamboo tray filled with a single layer of red/brown/green heirloom tomatoes.
Photo: Carolyn Baumel via Unsplash

I learned a new garden term this year: “cat-facing” tomatoes.

Before this, I considered deformed tomatoes as just that: a bit wonky on the end with rough scarred places. I did not give any thought to why this happens or how it affects the quality of the fruit. But once I become interested in a concept, I have to delve into exactly what it means.

In this article, I refer to the blossom end of a tomato. For those who are unfamiliar with the growing habits of tomatoes, the “blossom end” of a tomato is the bottom: the opposite of…


You’ll want to make them all

Individual parts of a salad (lettuce, olives, peppers, asparagus, etc) flying out of a salad bowl.
Individual parts of a salad (lettuce, olives, peppers, asparagus, etc) flying out of a salad bowl.
Photo: David Malan/Stone/Getty Images

No one wants to hang out in a hot kitchen in peak summer — and thankfully, you don’t really have to, since summer is the easiest season to make fast, delicious meals. We’ve got nine of them, right here; some don’t require any cooking at all. And those that do? Well, you don’t need to be in the kitchen as you’re bringing up water to a boil for pasta or eggs.

1. Watercress With Peaches and Blue Cheese

Roast a cup of pecans in a skillet over medium-high heat until they’re lightly browned and fragrant. Trim 2 bunches of watercress and put it in a bowl. Slice…


You’ll go to these recipes again and again for as long as it’s eggplant season

A wide dinner bowl of eggplant dip with toasted pita chips on it.
A wide dinner bowl of eggplant dip with toasted pita chips on it.
Eggplant dip. Photo: Aya Brackett

Grilled eggplant is a summer favorite for good reason: It’s one of the most satisfying of summer vegetables to cook and eat. And while eggplant shines when it’s prepared on a grill, you won’t want to miss out on these eggplant meatballs, either. Read on for more.

Grilled or Roasted Eggplant Dip

Makes: 6 to 8 servings
Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended

There is nothing like grilled eggplant, and its smoky flavor makes a sensational dip; if you grill or roast a red pepper at the same time, so much the better. Serve with bread or crackers, or use as a sandwich spread.

Ingredients

  • 2…


These recipes will make you love zucchini

Closeup of stacks of zucchini with their flowers still attached for sale at a produce market.
Closeup of stacks of zucchini with their flowers still attached for sale at a produce market.
Photo: Owen Franken/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

Zucchini is probably summer’s most underappreciated — maybe even downright disrespected — vegetable (OK, technically, it’s a fruit). It’s abundant, nutritious, and cheap — all good qualities — but there’s something about zucchini’s intensely mild flavor and the challenge of coaxing out its taste and texture that frustrates us. Plus, anyone who’s experienced the unrelenting wave of zucchini and other summer squash that comes in most CSAs will tell you that it can get hard to come up with new and exciting things to do with it.

So…here’s zucchini, 12 ways, to actually celebrate the fact that zucchini has a…


Japanese vegetables helped me pick better ones in the U.S.

Illustration of a hanging basket with 3 tomatoes and 3 cucumbers in it, surrounded by plants.

When I was young and lived in the U.S., I really disliked vegetables. I thought they were either bitter, sour, or bland, and compared their consumption to taking medicine. I would always force them down by covering them in ranch, or refusing them unless they were steamed into mush and covered with butter and salt. So it seemed odd to me when I was watching Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro that there was a scene where the main characters sat down to eat some raw cucumbers, seasoned with nothing, and snacked on them like they were chips.

It was just an…


Stuffed vegetables, 5 ways

Photo: Solnuha/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Here’s the best of two worlds: flavorful fillings in gorgeous edible vessels. Different vegetables require slightly different stuffing techniques; some of the most common are listed here. But one general piece of advice: Resist the urge to overstuff.

To ensure that the vegetable will be tender and fully cooked, most require a bit of cooking — like boiling, steaming, or roasting, before filling. That way you decrease the final cooking time and prevent the stuffing from getting too dry. Because the vegetable will finish once it’s filled, the idea is to precook until you can just barely stick a fork…

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Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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