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Virtuous Veg

Virtuous Veg

Perhaps this title is a bit redundant. After all, vegetables are hardly ever sinful, even at worst of times. But I’m in the mood for some health-inducing leafy greens today, so it seemed appropriate. Yesterday was my 26th birthday, and an evening at Jamie Oliver‘s Fifteen restaurant, enjoying the five-course tasting menu, left me feeling like I never wanted to eat again.

But of course I’ll eat again, and that’s where this week’s market haul comes in. After searching in vain last week, I was happy to find a lovely bunch of chard at the market today. As originally planned, I’ll be cooking up Dana‘s medley of chickpeas, chard and pasta.

This is the first time this season I’ve bought kale, and I’m hoping to use it in some kind of Tuscan-inspired soup. Flavoured with rosemary and teeming with cannellini beans, pasta and tender greens, it’s perfect fall food. I’ll soak up the broth with that lovely Cottage Tin loaf, bought from Flour Power City Bakery to fill my brand-new Wesco breadbox.

That broccoli will be dinner tonight: I love risotto, and the idea of one that uses my favourite vegetable has been on my mind for a while now. I’ll throw in an onion, some cheese and maybe a squirt or two of lemon juice; if it’s successful, the recipe will appear here this week.

I actually squealed when I saw those brussels sprouts. I love those little green guys, and am already making mental lists of what I can do with them. One possibility is a rich baked dish with cheese and cream from my new Nigel Slater book, Tender (another birthday present). Hardly “virtuous” though, so I might end up with a salad instead.

What are you making this week?


  1. K-Line says:

    Well, tonight we’re having quiche lorraine (a labour of love), tomatoes from a friend’s garden with feta, and apple crisp…

  2. sarah says:

    Happy birthday! Is Tender a good book? I read the extract in the OFM and I haven’t had a chance to look at it in the bookstore yet. Also, what did you eat at Fifteen? Was there anything that struck you enough to want to recreate it at home?

    Veggies are my favourite thing ever. I can agree with Nigel about that. I love handling them and smelling them and crunching them in my mouth. :)

  3. Dana says:

    26?! Just a baby! Happy birthday to you, I’m glad you had a big dinner to celebrate. I got chard AGAIN in my CSA box so there will be lots of that this week. Also a rice noodle soup and something with artichokes because I got some of those too. I hope you like my dish!

  4. Ele says:

    K-Line- Yum! That all sounds delicious, hope you had a great meal.

    Sarah- Actually, I haven’t had a chance to really look through Tender yet. My sister bought it for me but it hadn’t arrived yet by my actual birthday. It’s across the street at her place now, so I’m hoping to run over later and pick it up. I can’t wait! I think I’ll love it; I love Nigel’s approach to food but sometimes find him a bit too meat-centric for me. Once I’ve cooked from it a bit I’ll be reviewing it on my other blog, for sure.

    Oh, and at Fifteen in the evenings they only do a tasting menu, and I had:
    1) Tuscan Bread w/ Olives
    2) Fresh Mozzarella w/ Grapes, Greens and Tarragon
    3) Wild Mushroom Risotto w/ Garlic and Chili Oil
    4) Sicilian Fisherman’s Stew
    5) Buttermilk and Honey Pannacotta w/ Vanilla Shortbread

    The risotto was amazing, really wonderful. Very similar to a recipe from Jamie’s Italy, actually. I also loved the mozzarella (though not the tarragon; I’m not a fan) and the pannacottta.

    Dana- Thank you! I don’t feel like a baby, though;) I made your chard dish last night and LOVED it. I changed it up a bit, adding 1/2 a can of chopped tomatoes that I had lying around. It ended up moister than yours, a bit like a stew, which was perfect for the weather!