Gourmet Food Source
Vegetables are a crucial part of our daily food intake; the merits of eating them as fresh as possible are without question. For vegetarians and meat eaters alike they offer a multitude of tastes and textures as well as a sense of handling ‘real’ food.
This section is for both vegetarians and meat eaters, it is about cooking the best produce available and turning it into something that stimulates the mind and palette alike, complementing the main meal or even served alone as a light lunch or evening snack. When cooking vegetables as a side dish they should not be treated as an afterthought rather as an intrinsic part of any meal. The key to successful vegetable cookery is not in what is served with it but how the vegetables are cooked.
The greatest sauce or garnish in the world will mean little if the vegetable is overcooked and devoid of taste. Certain vegetables respond to certain cookery methods in different ways. Not every vegetable will benefit from being steamed or served on the crunchy side. Some make for ideal purees, others not. It is a question of understanding the produce and getting the maximum flavour out of it whilst maintaining its colour and texture. Once again, simplicity is the name of the game here.
Vegetable side dishes need not be complicated affairs, leave that to the main course if you must. Let the flavours of the vegetables speak for themselves, better to concentrate on cooking them perfectly and so retain their natural flavours and vitamins. As this section covers vegetarian side dishes I have also included dried pulses, rice and grains, which are key to many meals across the globe.