- Make the most of the attractive colors.
- Make the most of the attractive shapes.
- From crispy leaves to creamy purées.
- Think of the meat as a garnish.
- Surprise with salt.
The world of vegetables offers all kinds of appetizing shapes, colors and textures. Use them to full effect – but don’t overdo things and put everything in even if it doesn’t belong in the dish.
Every meal starts with pleasing the eye and in the case of vegetables, there are all the colors of the spectrum and ever shape imaginable to choose from. Use them!
Think like an architect
Shape and texture have a major part to play in what happens in the mouth and how much fun your taste buds get. They also impact on what your “creation” looks like on the plate. Sliced carrots, carrot sticks and grated carrot are three different experiences. Try to have an – architectural – concept of what it’s going to look like before you start cutting up your ingredients.
Vegetables make it easy to take your cooking to a whole new level with crisp, crunchy, oily, rough, smooth, soft elements. Sometimes it’s as easy as putting something crunchy on top of something smooth and soft. It can look great too.
Salt in patches
Joel Aronsson recommends “zone salting” rather than “evenly seasoning” your ingredients. He thinks it makes it a more interesting flavor experience if the taste buds sometimes encounter little flavor explosions as you work your way through a mouthful. This is yet another trick that makes the mild flavor palette of vegetables a bit bigger.
Make the meat and accent and a seasoning. It gives you even more freedom to work with those beautiful vegetables.
Letting the green stuff take the starring role makes you aware of the flavors you appreciate in the meat.
– Chef Abbe Lindo, Austin Foodworks