It is no longer a secret that we need to eat more vegetables (and less meat) for our own health and for the health of our planet. But how do you – for real – cook a satisfying meal with only vegetables?
Once upon a time vegetables were something that children didn't want to eat. They had often been boiled in lightly salted water to a tasteless, colorless mush. But today influenses from foreign kitchens – not least Asian ones – and an assortment of green trends have transformed the art of cooking vegetables.
And at the same time we are eating more meat than the planet can stand – and need to do something about it. However, many of us might feel that there is something missing to a meal without meat. How do you go about creating a dish consisting of only vegetables that feels truly "satisfying". Some tips from the pros:
According to Joel Aronsson, who has worked in the innovative kitchen of world-renowned restaurant Fäviken in northern Sweden, it is importent not to get stuck with how you are "supoposed to" cook vegetables. Everything is permitted. You are perfectly free to sear, grill, blacken, marinate, sautée and braise greens the way you would meat. Try it.
Pretty and crispy greens is a good start – but it's not the whole picture. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and green beans will pick up dressing and flavors better if they have been boiled to a slight softness. And adding a small touch of crunch – for example toasted onions – brings a little excitement to all vegetables. Try to get many textures into your one dish.
Think big flavors
According to professional chefs one of the most common mistakes made by amateurs is a failure to bring out flavors. It is common to marinate, brine and rub meat as well as fish, but when it comes to greens many are far too cautious. Don't hold back when addding fat, salt, pepper, chili, anchovies, parmesan, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, vinegar, etc.
Read more: Cooking vegetables.