Veggies, French-Style

By: Calvin Mayne | VP of Food
On: March 31, 2014

This time of year, we anticipate our beloved Ohio soil yielding all sorts of nutrient-rich vegetables. Yet why are vegetables sometimes viewed negatively, so much so that eating them is seen as a duty rather than a pleasure? The solution is to make them taste good, n’est-ce pas? With the help of a couple of simple concepts, you can be excited about eating veggies.

At Dorothy Lane Market, we like to say, “Flavor First.” We’re talking pure, clean, natural, balanced flavor. This is why we use real butter in our Bakery, local free-range eggs in our Kitchen, etc. However, Flavor First does not exclude eating healthy. Especially with vegetables, there are ways to enjoy their health-giving properties and full flavor potential at the same time! Two components common to classic French cuisine can help you achieve this happy result: blanching and vinaigrettes.

Blanching is where you boil your vegetables for only a minute or so in salted water followed by a quick cool down in an ice bath. It’s an easy technique that maximizes flavor without sacrificing nutrition. Use a hearty gray sea salt, and make your boiling water very salty, akin to when you boil pasta.

Another way to make vegetables a hit with your family is with a homemade vinaigrette. The formula is simple, but the combinations are numerous. A vinaigrette is a cold emulsion made by combining a fat with an acidic element. The usual proportion is three parts fat to one part acid. Try different combinations such as extra-virgin olive oil with fresh lemon juice, grape seed oil with balsamic vinegar, or one of my favorites: J. Leblanc Walnut Oil and Banyuls vinegar, both from the south of France. C’est fantastique! Make blanching and vinaigrettes part of your repertoire and everyone at your house will be happy to

hear, “eat your veggies!”