Thursday, August 14, 2014

Andrea Chesman: Drizzled Vegetables

Put down that cookbook and let summer vegetables go barely dressed.

As the bounty of summer piles up, I’ve been thinking about drizzles — not as in rain drizzles, but drizzles of dressing over vegetables so tasty and fresh that all you want to do is add a whisper of seasoning and call it done. 
You don’t need recipes for drizzles. Just grab a couple of bottles from the cupboard.

Does a tomato need more than a drizzle of olive oil, red wine or balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper? I don’t think so (though a shredded basil leaf and a shaving of Parmesan never hurt).
It’s been a perfect cucumber summer in the Northeast: hot, sunny days with thunderstorms late in the afternoons. The storm clouds may catch up to me every time I plan to go swimming, but at least the cucumbers are abundant. My favorite drizzle? A little salt, a little rice wine vinegar, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
Then there are green beans. I love green beans every which way: slowly stewed in a tomato-based sauce, baked under a bรฉchamel sauce with a crispy garlic topping, roasted and salted. But most of the time, I just steam and drizzle. The drizzle of the week is sesame oil, soy sauce, and black (Chinese) vinegar. Garlic gives it depth. Black sesame seeds dress it up for a party.

You don’t always need a recipe to make a great dish.

Photos © Andrea Chesman

Andrea Chesman is the author of many cookbooks, including The Pickled Pantry, Recipes from the Root Cellar, Favorite Pickles and Relishes, Mom’s Best One-Dish Suppers, and The Vegetarian Grill, which was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award and won a National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence. She is a coauthor of 250 Treasured Country Desserts and The Classic Zucchini Cookbook, and her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, Organic Gardening, Fine Cooking, and other publications. Visit Andrea’s website.

1 comment:

Stewart Dorman said...

Nice, thank-you.