Lately I’ve been eating lots of Brussel Sprouts, green beans, swiss chard, kohlrabi & jicama.  Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy the unique quality of each vegetable.
I often refer to jicama’s taste & texture as a mix between a potato and an apple; starchy, juicy and crisp. Carefully peel or remove the skin with a knife. Cut into sections – I like them thick – and eat raw. Makes a great salad when mixed with grapefruit sections! Totally yummy. Also great with a curry dressing  or a light vinaigrette (lime/lemon juice and oil).

Slice it up thin, eat it raw with a dip or steam it lightly and mix with other vegetables.

Brussels Sprouts
These got a bad reputation in my childhood – nobody wanted to eat them, let alone go through the fuss of making them. I recently revisited this misaligned vegetable with magical results.

With a sharp paring knife, I take the bottom ½ inch off, peeling any dirty leaves with it, and mark the bottom deeply with two strokes, making an ‘X’.  It is best to steam or boil these babies.  Make sure you watch the time. Steaming often takes as long as 10 to 12 minutes. Boiling takes 5 or 6 minutes. I then coat them in either butter or extra virgin olive oil, squeeze some lemon juice on top and a healthy dose of salt. Voila! Eat it hot and enjoy.

Swiss Chard
Nice and easy, both to prepare and to eat. I take a bunch, cut the stems down to the leaf, wash very well and steam for 3 to 4 minutes. Once cooked, slice it up thin. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, some salt and yum.

The best for last? Tough to prepare – cut both tips off and wash well. I keep a bag handy for the ends as I tip them off, paring knife in one hand, bean in the other.

Easy to eat – steam for 6 or 7 minutes and then serve with salt and pepper – and chunks of cheese. My preference is soft goat cheese. If you’re making a salad, you can shock the green beans once cooked. I do this by running cold water over them.

Your imagination is the limit. Experiment with abandon!

~ Matthew Craig

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