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Now that vegetables are not a moral issue, can we just enjoy them?

Many cuisines--including that of our own counter-culture--are vegetarian by choice, not necessity. Vegetables are now really in, and parents no longer need resort to specious political morality ("Children in India would love that parsnip") to persuade the young to eat vegetables. We remind ourselves of all this during September's garden-vegetable deluge--and honor the chef who makes creative use of the seasonal plenty.

Charles Cuningham goes so far as to make fresh vegetables instead of meat the mainstay of his burgers. He rounds out the protein content with eggs and a peanut sauce. The approach may be untraditional, but it's honest: unlike most commercial "meat substitutes," his burgers don't contain unfamiliar ingredients that have been stabilized, hydrolized, or amended to retard spoilage.

Cunningham prefers to make his recipe in one behemoth patty. Our tasters preferred it in individual patties, but the choice is yours. You'll find canned tahini (ground sesame seed paste) in the imported foods section of your market. Behemoth Burger

3 eggs

4 cups finely diced stale whole-grain bread (about 7 slices)

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

3/4 cup finely chopped celery

3/4 cup each shredded carrot and zucchini

2 tablespoons tahini or salad oil

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter, margarine, or salad oil

Peanut sauce (recipe follows)

Break eggs into a large bowl and beat to blend. Mix in bread, onion, bell pepper, celery, carrot, zucchini, tahini, soy, and pepper. Divide into 10 to 12 portions; pat firmly into patties about 3/4 inch thick.

Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 or 4 patties at a time and cook, turning once carefully, until browned on both sides. Lift from pan and keep warm until all are cooked. Offer peanut sauce to top individual servings. Makes 4 or 5 servings of 2 patties each.

Panut sauce. Stir together 3 tablespoons cream-style peanut butter and 1/3 cup salad oil. Mix in 1/4 cup each soy sauce and sugar, 4 teaspoons white vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons minced green onion. Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne to taste.

The bizarre name of this slaw requires explanation. Arthur Vinsel (who has already earned our Chefs' toque) noticed, on a trip from Tijuana to Ensenada, a number of signs with the strange advice No Tire Basura. The phrase haunted him until he learned its meaning--Don't Throw Garbage--and it returned to his mind when he sought a name for a salad that contained a little bit of everything. It's name refers only to the diversity of the ingredients, not their quality. Yo Tire Basura Slaw

1 small head (about 1-1/4 lbs.) cabbage

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

6 medium-size carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large (about 4-in. diameter) mild red or white onion, chopped

1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 jar (8 oz.) pimiento-stuffed Spanish-style green olives, drained and sliced

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves

3/4 cup salad oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon each sugar and Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Condiments (suggestions follow)

With a sharp knife, finely shred cabbage; you should have 6 cups. In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage, cilantro, carrots, onion, bell pepper, olives, lime juice, and oregano.

In a small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, sugar, and mustard until sugar is dissolved. Pour it over the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.

To serve, mix salad well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Offer 2 or 3 condiments to spoon over individual servings as desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Condiments. Choose 2 or 3 of the following and serve in separate bowls: 1 or 2 small tart green apples (cored, diced, and mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice to prevent darkening), 1 cup roasted sunflower seeds, 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts, 1 medium-size cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced), 1 medium-size zucchini (ends removed and diced), or 1/2 cup seeded and diced canned jalapeno peppers.

Zucchini is a particularly engulfing crop about now, and another recipe is always welcome when supply so overwhelms demand. Bob Martin's zucchini relish is especially useful in that the zucchini harvest far outstrips that of cucumbers--the more usual ingredient in such preparations. Chef Martin disposes of excess zuchini in a relish that's a zesty accompaniment for hamburgers and frankfurters. Dill Zucchini Relish

6 pounds zucchini (about 24 medium-size)

6 large onions, cut into chunks

4 red Anaheim (California) chilies (about 3/4 lb.), seeded and cut into chunks

1/2 cup salt Cold water

2 cups white distilled vinegar

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons each dry mustard and celery seed

2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 cup chopped fresh dill

Trim and discard zucchini ends; cut zuchini into chunks. In a food processor, chop the zucchini, onions, and chilies, a portion at a time, with on-off bursts until vegetables are evenly chopped but still have some texture. Or force vegetables through a food chopper fitted with a medium blade.

Place chopped vegetables in a large bowl. STir salt into 1 quart cold water until dissolved, then pour over vegetables. Add enough cold water just to cover vegetables. Cover and let stand 4 hours or refrigerate as long as overnight.

Drain vegetables, rinse under running water, and drain well again. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seed, garlic, and dill. Stir in zucchini mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower heat; simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 4 quarts, about 20 minutes.

Ladle hot relish to within 1/4 inch of rims of 8 hot, sterlized pint-size jars. Wipe rims clean and top with sterilized lids; adjust bands. Set jars on a rack in a canning kettle, cover with boiling water, and process in a simmering water bath for 15 minutes. Let stand on a cloth to cool. Press each lid to test seal. If lid pops up, jar is not sealed; store unsealed jars in refrigerator. Makes 8 pints.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:Sep 1, 1984
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