Monday, September 20, 2010

Home Plate

Pairing vegetables. Fine-tuning ensembles. I like to take my time when tinkering with both.

This lace top and vest is more frilly than I typically go for. But I evened it out with some gray pleather moto pants. Just like we balanced out the acids in this plate of veggies with some squashed fingerlings.

There are times when I simply want a plate of veggies. I scour the market for the finest contenders, devising a meal plan the way that one would an outfit for a specific occasion.

Caramelized purple carrots cooked in sunflower oil smelled oddly of....funnel cake. They tasted candy-like, with a hint of smoke. The last call of the heirloom tomatoes were proud with Maldon flaked salt resolve and a swift shot of pepper. They went out with a bang of 18 year balsamic (the best deal you will ever get on aged balsamic is at Garces Trading Company).

This veggie platter was so simple and delicious for 5 basic reasons:

1) We pick out amazing vegetables. Study your signs of ripeness, splurge a little more if it looks/feels/smells better, zoom in on the local, just-picked, and you are 95% of the way to a fine restaurant-quality dish.

2) Upgrade and experiment with oils. Invest in some great vinegars, condiments, and ingredients for sauces to highlight your vegetables. Use good salt and grind your spices at each meal. Roast some garlic while you are cooking everything else. It's easy, the flavor is undeniable, inexpensive, and adds a little oomph to everything else at the table. And nutritious...

3) Find the perfect knife. Learn how to use it. Chopping veggies is such an art and a crucial step in your entire meal. My Shun Utility Knife is the only knife I will use for tomatoes.

4) Learn how to cook your veg properly. That's what your iPad is for.

5) Sit down in front of plates. You are a grown-up and you deserve a few moments where only you, the company, and your meal are of concern.

We finished up with a vegan, gluten-free brownie from Amaranth Bakery (also found at the Rittenhouse Square Saturday Market) which I had to have because it was made with...white bean puree. Because of this infusion, I expected a moister cake....but it was on the dry side. It had deep cocoa flavor, but tasted more like cake on its last legs.


lisaathome said...

Great post- I love your 'sit down in front of your plate' rule :)

kellywhitephillips said...

Thanks - usually I like to stand and have to remind myself to relax and unwind.

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

check out that sexy roasted garlic. YUM!