Our 10 all-time favorite veggie dishes
10 roasted, fried, stewed and salad-ed veggie dishes to cook all year long
Southern food is about more than just fried chicken and ham. We love our seasonal veggies here, whether they’re fried, stewed, roasted or salad-ed. To help you add to your repertoire, we’ve rounded up our top 10 very favorite vegetable recipes, from classic collards to modern roasted okra. Take your pick or cook all 10.
Apple and Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad
We usually turn to lettuce or spinach when making a salad, but if you want to switch up your routine, use crunchy fried Brussels sprouts as your base instead. Tart apples and raw pistachios counter the richness of the fried sprouts, helping to prove, perhaps, that everything really does taste better deep-fried. This dish is also fun to plate. Before adding any veggies, spread crème fraiche and a drizzle of apple cider reduction on the plate. Layer sprout halves and top with an apple slice and more sprouts. Finish dressing with a drizzle more of cider reduction and sprinkle with pistachios.
Asparagus with Crispy Poached Eggs and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Bacon, eggs and asparagus? When it’s brunch time, anything goes. To help create a variety of textures, bread and frying poached eggs. (You can do it! We’ve got the tips to help.) Drizzle on a warm bacon vinaigrette for an amazing contrast against the rich egg yolk and tender-crisp asparagus. You’ll be making the entire vinaigrette in one pan, so don’t worry if the final appearance is a little broken when you finish rendering the bacon.
Anne Byrn’s Roasted Okra and Tomatoes
You’ll find fried okra on many tables across the South, but Anne Byrn has found a way to modernize the way you cook this Southern vegetable in her Taste of a Place column. Instead of coating the okra in a heavy breading and frying it, Byrn suggests that you cut the veggies in slices, tossing them lightly in olive oil, salt and spices, and roasting the bejeesus out of them. For a sweet, caramelized flavor element, Byrn also suggests adding minced onion to the sheet pan.
Sweet and Spicy Collard Greens
In the South, everyone has their own version of collard greens. Ours is this sweet and spicy recipe, loaded with pork, with sweet, acidic, smoky and spicy notes. If you can’t find fresh whole collards, feel free to use two bags of pre-cut bagged collards instead. You can use any smoked pork product you like — such as bacon or country ham — but we like the fact that the natural smokiness of the ham hocks permeate the dish without becoming soggy.
Russ Pysell’s Chilled Avocado Soup with Cumin Crème Fraiche
A quick glance on Google will tell you: People are transforming avocado into all sorts of fascinating dishes. Have you heard of avocado french fries or avocado ice cream? And while those definitely sound interesting, our favorite way to cook with avocado is blending it up it into this chilled soup. Filled with tropical flavors and exotic spices — we see you, cumin — digging into this soup, created by chef Russ Pysell, is a refreshing way to celebrate warm weather.
Fried Okra with Pickle Aioli
We love frying food in the South, and that means no food is safe from the fryer, especially okra. To make this classic even better than what you’ll find at a meat-and-three, we cut the okra lengthwise before battering and frying. You’ll get a more substaintial bite with far more okra flavor this way, we promise. For an easy dipping sauce, stir togther our shortcut pickle aioli, which adds some much-needed acidity to the dish.
Green Beans with Almond Brown Butter
Although the green beans might look as if they’re taking center stage in this easy vegetable dish, the brown butter in which they’re tossed is the secret star of the show and gives the verdant vegetables a warm, nutty flavor. The green beans keep their vibrant green color thanks to blanching them — avoid overcrowding the pot and cook until they’re just tender for the best results
Mashed Garlic Sweet Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a great savory side to serve at the dinner table, but instead of making plain ol’ mash, we like adding sweet potatoes into the mix. The brightly colored dish will be eye-catching on the table; however, the real star is its bold garlic flavor. If the texture of the mashed potatoes is too thick, adjust the amount of milk until you achieve the desired texture.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts
To update your Caesar salad, swap out romaine lettuce for shaved Brussels sprouts and toss it in a classic dressing of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, egg yolks, garlic, Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, and, of course, anchovy filets. A shower of Pecorino Romano and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts add umami and texture to this already-flavorful salad. Serve it as a side dish or stand-alone salad course.
Jennifer Hill Booker’s Roasted Beets and Orange Supremes with Citrus Vinaigrette
One of chef Jennifer Hill Booker’s life missions is transforming beet haters into lovers, one dish at a time. In this recipe, which is featured in her book, Dinner Déjà Vu, she drizzles red and gold beets with oil before roasting them in the oven. To serve, Booker pairs the roasted beets with orange supremes and a drizzle of citrus vinaigrette.