Thursday, August 25, 2016

Simple Summer Sides - Cookbook Countdown

Vegetable Literacy, the book I've been cooking from this month for Cookbook Countdown, is a really valuable resource if, like me, you have lots of vegetables on hand but are lacking cooking inspiration. It's filled with quick and easy recipes as well as great ideas for creating your own. I tried three that were a little different from anything I've made before and all three will be made again.
Snow Peas with Sesame Oil, Tarragon and Toasted Sesame Seeds was a recipe for blanched snow peas tossed with sesame oil, a common pairing. The surprise here was the tarragon. I don't think of adding this herb to dishes with an Asian feel but its licorice flavour went amazingly well with the peas and sesame.
The author says that cooking zucchini until it's soft brings out its lovely squash flavour. Having tried this method I know this to be true but I can't quite get past the texture of it so for Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil and Pine Nuts, I grilled the slices just long enough to get grill marks on them. The vibrant fresh herb, garlic and caper relish more than made up for any lack of zucchini flavour and was particularly good with the grilled salmon I served along side.
Sweet Potatoes with White Miso Ginger Sauce is my new favourite way to serve this vegetable. The recipe called for steamed sweet potatoes but since I've been avoiding using the stove and oven during our three month long heatwave, I microwaved them before slicing and grilling. I think this is the tastiest sweet potato I've had; the savoury sauce was salty and tangy and just a little bit hot, perfect with the sweet vegetable.

All three dishes were quite effortless to make, called for just a few ingredients and could be served hot or at room temperature so could be made kind of cooking.

I've mentioned in previous posts that this book is organized according to edible families within the plant kingdom. These recipes represent three of them: the Legume Family, peas and beans in their fresh and dried states; the Cucurbrit Family, melons and squashes and gourds; the Morning Glory Family, all varieties of sweet potatoes.

I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.


  1. Hi Zosia,
    I love the three veggie dishes you've made! I never would have thought to use tarragon for a veggie dish. The zucchini looks like the perfect side dish for any meal. And the sweet potatoes, with salty miso ginger glaze, I could eat a plateful of these! Everything looks delicious. I got to take a look at this book!

  2. Our Joyce is going on a cookbook buying spree soon! A lovely trio!


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