It’s a wonder that Americans don’t hate more vegetables after growing up on overcooked flavorless vegetables served in public school cafeterias, like carrots, broccoli, peas, and the dreaded Brussels sprouts. I think the only vegetable that public school didn’t turn me off of was potatoes: mashed, french fried, or in tater tots.
Maybe that’s why as an adult, I tend to lightly cook my veggies. I like them still full of color, flavor and just slightly crunchy, to remind me that they’re fresh, and not frozen or canned.
Two of my favorite vegetables to eat raw are carrots and sugar snap peas. When I’m in search of a simple side dish that’s nutritious and healthy to boot, I will lightly sauté thinly sliced carrots in some butter or olive oil, toss in some sugar snap peas, then turn off the heat, add watercress, and stir in the hot pan until the cress wilts. When watercress wilts, it retains its slightly bitter bite, but the cooking brings out a sweetness that you don’t notice when it’s raw. Then I’ll drizzle a little champagne vinegar, toss and serve.
There’s usually nothing left except an empty plate after dinner!