Vegetables Recipes

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Gratin de Christophine (Chayote Squash Recipe) Recipe

Gratin de christophine originates from the French island of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Whether it's called chayote in English, christophine in Creole and French or trái su su in Vietnamese, the vegetable is from the same family as squash. I steam them with apples for added sweetness, then mix in creamed pearl onion sauce and finally bake until golden.

If you're looking to spice up your Christmas meal, you should try this Creole dish. It’s familiar and fresh all at the same time.


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Vietnamese Vegetables with Ginger (Rau Muong Xao Gung) Recipe

Vietnamese cuisine boasts many dishes that highlight fresh ingredients in a healthy manner. Rau muống xào với gừng (Vietnamese pea tendrils sautéed in ginger) is an excellent example of this.  The dish is incredibly simple; the pea tendrils are blanched and then flavored with ginger and a little turmeric for color. I made it recently for my uncle who was visiting us and is a practicing Buddhist, which is why the recipe does not call for onions, shallots or garlic. Don’t worry though; the dish is only light on calories, not flavor.

As a child, our typical Vietnamese family meals were composed of individual bowls of rice, meat, seafood or tofu, a bowl of canh (a clear broth soup), a vegetable side dish and a dipping sauce. I always looked forward to a bowl of rau muống, served with a soy sauce and ginger dipping sauce called mắm gừng. If you have trouble getting your family to eat their greens, give this dish a try. It worked on me!


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Beet Green and Sugar Snap Pea Salad Recipe Recipe

Did you know that beet leaves are edible? This season, my husband Lulu planted chiles, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and beets. The beets came out a lot smaller than I expected but maybe it's just because Lulu wasn't patient enough to wait. The beet roots were so small that I decided against serving them by themselves. However, there were plenty of beet greens. I boiled the beet leaves as I would with spinach and made a salad.  You could probably eat the beet leaves raw if they're crisp and young, but to ensure the girls would enjoy the salad I boiled them a bit. Just make sure to pick young leaves, as they are quite tender, with little bitterness. Interestingly, when boiled they taste almost like rau mồng tơi, which is a Vietnamese green if you're familiar with Asian cuisine.

I finished the beet leaf salad with sugar snap peas for crunch and mandarin segments. It was an educational experience for me, and I can definitely say that beet leaves are quite under-rated. They're packed with vitamins A and C and iron.

I reserved the small beets that Lulu had harvested and made beet risotto for dinner. It’s a tasty way to extend the value of a small quantity of beets.

Beet Green Salad Recipe with Picture


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Choy Sum with Oyster Sauce Recipe

Choy Sum with Oyster Sauce

02.18.10 by Jackie

Choy sum (also known as Chinese flowering cabbage) is a very quick and easy vegetable to cook. I pan-steamed the greens for only a few minutes to maintain a bright green color and paired them with an oyster sauce mixture. Of course, I also had to modify the recipe a bit for the strictly vegetarian diet of my husband Lulu, but the method is exactly the same.

You can serve them as is or with a sauce of your own. It's a healthy and flavorful way to open a meal. I've had it often that way at dim sum restaurants. In fact, it's usually one of the few vegetable dishes offered. With this recipe, you can have it at home, without the dim sum prices!


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Salsify Potato Cheese Gratin Recipe

Salsify Potato Cheese Gratin

02.04.10 by Jackie

Gratin of salsify is a very common French winter dish. For my version, I added steamed fingerling potatoes and diced Granny Smith apples to make the flavors more interesting. The acidity of the apples and the starchiness of the potatoes give the salsify a great balance both in texture and taste. As you would any other gratin, the dish is covered them with béchamel sauce made with cheddar for a rich color. The crust is topped with Dubliner cheese.

If you've never tried Dubliner cheese, you should. We've all become addicted to it. Its flavor is very similar to an aged gruyère, but with fruitier notes and a sharper bite. It's become one of my "go-to" cheeses for cooking. It takes this classic French version of comfort food to another level.


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