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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