Spring to Summer Vegetable Dish
This recipe is from my new cookbook, Vegan Family Meals, real food for everyone that hits bookstores and on-line on June 15. You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy delicious plant-based recipes. No matter what kind of eaters you have in your family, this dish is simple, satisfying and easy to make.
Don’t let the title turn you away! I know, what you must be thinking, boiled vegetables, no way. This must mean that the veggies are overcooked, drained of any color and devoid of flavor. Not true at all. Look at the photograph and you can see how deliciously attractive this dish can be.
I’ll share with you a fun story. When Sara Remington and her amazing photography team were at my house to photograph my recipes for the book, we would have lunch together, sometimes we’d eat what we’d shot that morning and other days we called for take-out. At the end of the day, they would take home any leftover food from the day’s shoot. The day we photographed this recipe, this was the last shot of the day and though there had been a few samples of the dish, once we wrapped, they started gobbling these vegetables and boxed up what was left so fast that I never even got to taste it.
What could be better than colorful seasonal vegetables cooked to perfection? Follow my timing and you’ll only boil the veggies to their peak tenderness and flavor. The quick and easy dressing adds a depth of flavor and color. It incorporates umeboshi, which can’t be topped for it’s clean, light, and refreshing flavor. Umeboshi are beautiful, dark red-skinned plums; technically, they are a Japanese variety of pickled Asian plums. I can’t live without umeboshi, as they help with digestion and increase my energy when I am feeling sluggish. Umeboshi plums may be eaten whole—no more than one at a time, as they are very potent. The plums are often made into a paste or vinegar. I use the paste in my dressing but you can skip making the dressing and instead lightly douse the vegetables when cooled with umeboshi vinegar.
Boiled Vegetable Salad with Umeboshi-Scallion Dressing
2 carrots, peeled, roll-cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, divided
To prepare the vegetables, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Working with one vegetable at a time, cook the vegetables in the order listed until their colors brighten and they are just tender, about 2 minutes for each vegetable. After each vegetable is cooked, immediately submerge them in a large bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking, then drain them well and pat dry with a clean towel. Quarter the large radishes or cut the smaller radishes in half.
To make the dressing, whisk the 1/2 cup of water with the umeboshi in a small bowl to blend. Stir in the scallions and 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds.