As plant-based eating continues to grow more popular, chefs are finding more creative ways to cook with vegetables. Whether it's an appetizer with hidden greens or a dessert featuring vegetables you couldn’t imagine, here are a few recipes you must try!
#1: HEART OF PALM “CRAB CAKE”
Featuring Heart of Palm, an increasingly popular ingredient among plant eaters this year, this is one of Chef David Lee’s most popular dishes at the recently opened Planta South Beach in Miami. “It’s an easy fix at home that uses simple but flavorful ingredients,” he said.
Heart of Palm Crab CakePlanta South Beach
Recipe: Serves 4
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 minutes
1 can heart of palm, opened and drained
⅔ cup celeriac, peeled and julienned
½ cup green onion, finely chopped
⅓ cup ginger
¼ cup jalapeño
½ red thai chili
¼ cup mayo
pinch of salt
2 tbsp. cornstarch
4 cups panko
- Cut heart of palm in half width wise, so the pieces are shorter.
- Pulse 2-3 times in the robo coupe/food processor (only fill halfway to ensure even sizes). Do in small batches until you have medium/small chunks of the palm.
- Finely chop chilis and ginger in robo coupe.
- Hand mix in green onion, celeriac and mayo/chili mixture with the heart of palm. Season and add cornstarch and season with salt and pepper
- Portion the balls using a 2.5 oz ice cream scoop.
- Form your crab cakes with a medium size ring mold and then coat with panko breadcrumbs. They should be about 1.5 inches in height.
- Fry for 3 minutes or until golden brown and serve.
#2: SUNFLOWER SEED “RISOTTO” WITH FIERY TOMATO SAUCE
If you want to indulge in a versatile yet delicious hidden vegetable dish, try this "risotto" recipe by Lindsay Autry—2018 James Beard semifinalist, "Top Chef" alum, and chef of The Regional Kitchen & Public House in West Palm Beach—with no rice at all. The secret ingredient here are sunflower seeds, which not only maintains texture well, but also can transform into a creamy yet filling risotto-like dish that's perfect for lunch, dinner or as a side dish. "Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and high in fiber, at-home chefs can 'hide' additional vegetables of choice in this dish such as Brussels sprouts or hearty greens," said Autry.
Sunflower Seed RisottoCourtesy of The Regional Kitchen & Public House
Recipe: Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
1 cup sunflower seeds; raw, shelled
3 cups vegetable broth or water
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic; minced
¼ cup white onion; small dice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 overripe beefsteak tomatoes; grated on box grater
1 bunch broccoli; trimmed into florets
- Combine the sunflower seeds and broth/water in a small pot.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover.
- Allow the seeds to cook for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Set aside.
- Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the grapeseed/olive oil.
- Add the minced garlic and onion to the pan and constantly stir until the onions are translucent.
- Season with salt and crushed red pepper.
- Carefully add the grated tomato pulp and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked sunflower seeds and stir to combine.
- Add the broccoli florets to the pot, and cover with a lid allowing the broccoli to steam for 5 minutes.
#3: MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE
This healthy yet hearty dish—courtesy of Executive Chef Jorge Ramos at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach—is the 2018 edition of a Bolognese pasta. With mushrooms as a meat substitute, it’s perfect for a meatless Monday and everyday after.
Mushroom BologneseConrad Fort Lauderdale Beach
Recipe: Serves 4
Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-30 minutes
- 2 cups of finely chopped mushrooms
- 4 oz. small diced onions, celery and carrot
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 3 oz. tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 cups of stock or water, to be used gradually
- Herb bouquet – thyme, oregano, bay leaf, basil
- 5 cup (dry) of gnocchi sardi or preferred pasta
- Parmesan cheese, upland cress/preferred green, and extra virgin olive oil for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a medium stockpot with salted water and set it to boil, which will be used later for the pasta.
- Heat up the extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Once hot, add the finely diced vegetables and sauté until translucent.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they start to dry.
- Cover the vegetable/mushroom mixture with the tomato paste and let it caramelize.
- Once the tomato paste has dried, add the wine and let it reduce by about 80 percent.
- Add stock or water, herb bouquet, and bring heat down to a simmer.
- Once the sauce thickens, add pasta to the water in step one.
- Put a touch of olive oil in a small/medium sauté pan, and add the blanched (al dente) pasta.
- Heat up the pasta (with precaution due to the water and oil mixing), and add one spoonful of the mushroom Bolognese at a time until the pasta and sauce comes together.
- Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
- Plate the dish. Garnish with shaved parmesan, and pluck upland cress or arugula leaves to scatter on top.
- Finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil.
#4: EGGPLANT MOUSSE PARFAIT WITH PLUM GEL AND EGGPLANT CRISP
Who knew eggplant and cilantro can be served in a dessert? By far the most complicated recipe on the list, this dessert by Executive Pastry Chef Pierino Jermonti of Terranea Resort is also perhaps the most interesting. Describing that the use of eggplant “makes sense once you try it,” Jermonti believes the unique combination makes for a very refreshing summer dessert.
Eggplant Mousse ParfaitTerranea Resort, A Destination Hotel
Recipe: Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: Approximately 1 1/2 hour
5.25 oz. sugar
17.5 oz. milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. vanilla extract
10 oz. eggplant, peeled and cubed
5 gelatin sheets
8.25 oz. heavy whipping cream
- In a pot, combine sugar, milk, vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks.
- Bring to a boil and then add eggplant.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove vanilla beans and cinnamon from pot and puree. Bloom gelatin and add to eggplant puree.
- Cool mixture.
- Whip heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into eggplant puree.
2.3 oz. yolks
6.25 oz. eggs
1 tbsp. cilantro
6.25 oz. sugar
.25 oz. honey.75 oz. sugar
3.75 oz. eggwhites
4 oz. AP flour
- Whip yolks, eggs, cilantro, 6.25oz sugar and honey till light and fluffy.
- For the meringue, mix the .75 oz sugar and eggwhites to stiff peak.
- Fold meringue into egg mixture.
- Fold in AP flour.
- Pour into sheet pan and bake at 350 degree till golden brown (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).
2 cups basic tempura mixture
1 eggplant skin, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. sea salt,
1/4 tsp. black pepper
confectionery sugar for dusting
- Mix tempura mixture and eggplant skins with sea salt and black pepper.
- Dust mixture with sugar.
200g cherry puree
2g agar agar
- Combine cherry puree, agar agar, and sugar in a sauce pot.
- Bring to a boil and cook till thicken.
- Cool in ice bath.
- Blend until smooth.
84 g honey syrup
7.5 g sugar
1 g versa whip
.75 g xanthan gum
- Whip ingredients to full volume.
ASSEMBLE THE DESSERT
- Fill glass (or vessel of your choice) 3/4 of the way to the top with eggplant mousse, and place it in the freezer for ½ hour to set
- Remove glass from freezer and pour a thin layer of the plum gel over the mousse
- Let it set for 15 minutes in the freezer.
- Remove glass from freezer again and place a dab of the foam cream on top.
- Garnish with the eggplant crisp and fresh sliced plum (optional) for decoration.