Veggies: The New "It" Ingredients
I was discussing the current state of restaurant food with a few chefs recently, and one clear theme emerged: Veggies are hot. The snout-to-tail swine worship that gripped the nation for the last several years seems to have crested, and now many of the country's premier chefs have launched a passionate exploration of produce.
"Vegetables are having their day," says Richard Landau, who runs the wildly popular Vedge restaurant in Philadelphia along with his wife, pastry chef Kate Jacoby (a photo of the couple, at left). Jason Sheehan, a Cooking Light contributor and food editor for Philadlephia magazine, says that a meat-and-potatoes kind of town like Philly would be just about the last place you'd think a vegan restaurant like Vedge would succeed. And yet it thrives, in large part because it proves how exciting, creative, and ultimately satisfying veggie-forward fare can be. It's the kind of place where the food is so good, generally carnivorous folks like myself don't miss the meat for a minute.
Landau and Jacoby will be serving up some tasty treats at Cooking Light's Light Up The Night event on Friday, September 21 at the High Line park in New York City. For ticket info, visit CookingLight.com/LUTN.
But even if you can't make it to the event, now's a great time of year to explore the movement that Landau and others have identified. So many chefs are working wonders with bountiful summer produce, spotlighting it in dishes where meat takes a backseat, appropriate for hot weather when you just feel like something lighter. You don't even need to go out to eat: just hit your local farmer's market this weekend, pick up some heirloom veggies and put together these awesome Grilled Farmer's Market Sandwiches.