5 Culinary-School Tricks That Turned Me into a Vegetable Lover

I ate them because I should; now I do it because I want to

Irresistible zucchini at Mercato Sant’Ambrogio in Florence. Photos: Sara Cagle

Here are some of my favorite culinary- school techniques to give vegetables the love they deserve:

We use purées for taste, texture, and pretty plating all the time in culinary school — like in this dish of seared scallops with pea purée.

Whip out the blender

In the spring, a pesto of sautéed spinach, garlic, olives, almonds, and sundried tomatoes is perfect.

Team them up with pasta

Spinach salad with anchovies, olives, boiled potatoes, blanched green beans, and garlic mayonnaise.

Make hot-and-cold salads

Fava beans are particularly good on toast with fresh ricotta.

Serve them with glorious fat

Thinly sliced carrots pair well with salmon en papillote.

Play with different shapes and sizes

Freelance food and travel writer. Living in LA and usually thinking about Italy. Work at saracagle.com and food pics @caglecooks

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