Skip to content

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and you will receive our stories in your inbox.

Stacking vegetables

Posted in Food & Entertaining

There are salad people and I am most definitely not one of them. Lettuce, or other chopped greens, mixed with other vegetables, random proteins and slathered in dressing do not make a satisfying meal in my world.

If I must, I will make sure the base for my salads is either arugula, spinach or radicchio but it will always be the last option when dining out, if I can help it.

But I do love vegetables: raw, roasted, braised, grilled. Their only drawback is that, whatever the cooking methods, most likely cleaning, chopping, peeling and other time-consuming steps are needed.

In recent years, especially in Los Angeles, restaurants have done a much better job at creating vegetable centric dishes that truly pass for a main course, and the poor vegetarian doesn’t have to make do with steamed carrots and mashed potatoes any longer. But, at home, one is stuck peeling, chopping, cleaning….invariably, though, every time I devote those extra minutes to a vegetable I am deeply rewarded.

Take today’s lunch – inspired by a recipe I saw in Sweet Paul Magazine (ambitiously called “Carrot Lasagna”) I set out to make what is, more than a lasagna, a stack. I am also a firm believer in stacking vegetables: by diversifying the layers, using different cooking methods, or leaving some raw, the end result is always much more interesting than the individual parts.

This dish couldn’t have been simpler. I started with some big carrots, which I peeled and cut thin, lengthwise. I tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them at 400F (200C) for about 15 minutes, until tender and golden.

In the meantime, I sliced some ripe tomatoes and some mozzarella. When the carrots were ready, I organized my stacks by combining three slices of carrots to create a base, on which I layered the layers of tomatoes and mozzarella, ending with the cheese. In the interest of more flavor (as November tomatoes are pretty tasteless), I smeared a bit of pesto in between the layers. I finished by drizzling some olive oil, sprinkling some salt and pepper and putting everything back in the oven for 10 minutes. It was one of the most satisfying lunches of the last few weeks, worth the 30 minutes it took to prepare it.

 

Share on Facebook

14 Comments

  1. Non fa per me, chissà che pasticcio … potrei chiamarlo astrazione 😉

    December 10, 2017
    |Reply
  2. Sounds truly delish, easy and brilliant. Just like you, the preference is for veggies over green salad.

    December 4, 2017
    |Reply
    • Today I am experimenting with wheat berries, barley and pomegranate to brighten and fatten up a salad.

      December 4, 2017
      |Reply
  3. Sounds delicious! I’ll definitely give it a try! And have you ever heard of rosti? They’re just a big tray of shredded vegetables that you roast and it’s delicious!

    December 2, 2017
    |Reply
    • I love rosti. Although I think I always thought of it with having potatoes as the main ingredient. Pray tell – do you roast vegetables with the potatoes or just veggies on their own? I actually think roasting vegetables of any kind is the best way to bring out their flavor.

      December 4, 2017
      |Reply
      • I completely agree, roasted vegetables are the best! I do roast them with potatoes, just to keep them together, but you can add whatever you want! Have you tried making them with sweet potatoes?

        December 6, 2017
        |Reply
        • I have never made rosti with sweet potatoes but I do roast them on a regular basis and I love them. Sometimes with just a hint of mape syrup to caramelize them.

          December 6, 2017
          |Reply
  4. I usually don’t mind the prep, even if it involves lots of cleaning, peeling, etc. It’s the washing up afterwards – knives, chopping board, bowls, trays, etc – that’s the real deterrent for me.

    I’m with you on salad – definitely not a meal on its own.

    November 30, 2017
    |Reply
    • Sometimes I miss my restaurant days and the dishwashers at the ready. An industry secret is that dishwashers are the most beloved people in the kitchen and whose good side you want to stay on!

      December 1, 2017
      |Reply
      • Haha kind of like the unsung hero without which the place would fall apart…?

        December 1, 2017
        |Reply
  5. The first time I introduced my Dutch wife to NZ salad she pushed the plate away and said “I’m not a rabbit!”

    November 29, 2017
    |Reply
    • Nowhere in Europe is salad considered a meal.

      December 1, 2017
      |Reply

Got some thoughts? We would love to hear what you think

%d bloggers like this: