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Veggies in the raw

Updated: 1/2/2014 4:37:15 PM
© iStockphoto.com / Theodore Scott © iStockphoto.com / Theodore Scott
  • RecipesMore>>

  • Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:26:50 GMT
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
  • Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:49:39 GMT
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
  • Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-08-25 12:49:13 GMT
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>

By




For me, the whole thing began with radishes.

When I was seven, thanks to the spiral-bound 1965 edition of the Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cookbook — my mother's childhood copy — I was introduced to the extraordinary notion that radishes could become roses. I learned to carve thin petals into them and drop them into ice water, where they would blossom. I'd savor them with a little sprinkle of salt.

There's nothing new about eating raw vegetables, but in the States it wasn't until the first half of the 20th century that an austere serving of celery sticks was recast as an opulent appetizer.

The distinction is partly semantic: Fashionable French restaurants in America offered first-course relish plates of raw vegetables, referring to them in their native tongue (the word crudité itself is French for “rawness,” though the presentation may include cooked or cured ingredients), and the term caught on.

To me, the definition is also an aesthetic one: Crudités live or die by their composition, by their balance of colors, and the allure of the arrangement. Whether it's a single sliced carrot or a polychromatic cornucopia, it's meant to be admired.

Crudités' popularity has waxed and waned over the years. They never really went away at a certain type of gilded brasserie, but only very recently has the dish been showing up at the hipper sorts of restaurants. I'm proud not to have been a fair-weather fan — and I'm in good company. James Beard called crudités “the most appetizing dish imaginable,” and artist Wayne Thiebaud immortalized them in his 1963 painting Plate of Hors d'Oeuvres.

What accounts for their timeless appeal? For me they're the best demonstration of earthly abundance you can lay on a table. Broccoli is just a starting point; I might add wedges of raw fennel, pickled caperberries, or blanched green beans, and always several dips. I never make the same composition twice — but I always use radishes, and sometimes I even carve them into roses.

See the recipe for Creamy Watercress Dip »

See the recipe for Lemon Parmesan Dip »

See the recipe for Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip »



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