Anyone who knew me growing up knows that I was a picky eater. I didn't like onions, cooked bell peppers, squash, eggplant, beets, peas, cooked carrots, cooked green beans, eggs, pork chops, any sea food, I wanted my steak cooked well and I only liked white chicken meat. I liked my pizza with mushrooms, olives and pepperoni and wouldn't touch it if it had other veggies. I was a meat and potatoes kind of girl and that was fine with me. As an adult I developed the habit of always ordering steak when we would go out. Always. A filet mignon. It was my favorite. Eventually I figured out that you didn't need to cook the crap out of steak and that it actually tasted a heck of a lot better the rarer it was.
Once, as a teen, I ate some leftovers from my sister's fridge. I thought it was steak or some kind of beef and mashed potatoes. It was insanely good. When I later mentioned to my sister that I'd thieved her (probably expensive) leftovers, she told me it was lamb. I was in love. I never would have tried it had I known from the start that it was a sweet little lamb, but since I knew it was good there was no going back. The fact that I loved lamb was my one up on my fellow picky eaters.
After I had the bean we joined a CSA and I was inundated with all sorts of funky looking greens and kohlrabi and squash and beets and eggplant, etc, etc. I looked for recipes for these things, once I'd identified them, and started making them. As I was paying good money for this local and fresh produce I didn't want it to go to waste and there was only so much I could justify giving away to the neighbors. I played with recipes and found that if you cooked summer squash chopped up with some mushrooms and a bit of soy sauce, garlic and oil it tasted pretty good. I also learned that you could hide summer squash in just about anything, a little Parmesan cheese went a long way with it, too. I discovered that I liked kale and loved swiss chard. I found that after eating beets enough, that earthy flavor that had always put me off grew on me and I started loving and craving the sweet earthiness that only a beet could provide. I found that you could prepare beets in savory ways, roasted with some olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe a little rosemary or whatever was out in the garden, and the saltiness was a perfect marriage with the beet's sweetness.
|Home grown beets, zucchini, basil and fennel|
I love how much food I know how to cook and the variety of delicious veggies I am lucky enough to enjoy year round. I wish fellow picky eaters would give the poor veggies a shot! Most of them are pretty damn good if you only find a good recipe and don't cook them till they are a pile of mush.
|Caramelized onion, garlic and fennel pizza, roasted zucchini, beet and goat cheese salad|