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Raw vs. cooked. March 8, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. As I was making supper last night, I snagged a broccoli floret out of the salad bowl and ate it. I love raw broccoli, even plain like that. And that started me thinking, since I also love (and was cooking as a side dish) cooked broccoli.

I tend to like my cooked vegetables simple if served as sides: broccoli with lemon juice and butter, carrots with butter and perhaps a bit of curry powder, asparagus with lemon and butter, green and yellow wax beans with butter. Mushrooms sauteed in butter, perhaps with a splash of Madeira (George Washington’s favorite wine) or Marsala or even bourbon at the end of cooking, then served over rice. Baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes or boiled new potatoes served with butter, salt, and lemon pepper. Spinach with balsamic vinegar and salt, or sauteed with crushed garlic in olive oil. Corn on the cob with butter and salt. Cabbage or Brussels sprouts or summer squash braised in browned butter with a teensy bit of veggie broth.

Obviously, I don’t get the point of dressing up veggies to the point where they’re unrecognizable. They’re so yummy as they are. (Now, mind you, when making a pasta sauce or curry or soup or stir-fry or whatever that transforms the veggies into a main dish, I’m quite willing to combine and cook everything as elaborately as is needed to make a fabulous, long-cooked  or flash-fried and sauced dish.)

But what made me think of the theme of today’s post was pondering which veggies I loved absolutely as much raw as cooked. Or, to put it another way, which veggies I loved both raw and cooked. Broccoli and bell peppers (another key ingredient in last night’s supper) leapt to mind. But not mushrooms and onions (the other key ingredients in my Red, White and Gold Pasta sauce; check our search bar at upper right for the easy, yummy recipe). I like my mushrooms and onions cooked, not raw, though I love the oniony flavor of scallions (green onions) raw in salad.

So I started making my list. I left out veggies I only like cooked, like spinach, eggplant, potatoes and beans; veggies I love raw but only liked cooked into juice, sauce, or condiments, like tomatoes (no stewed tomatoes, whole canned tomatoes, or, God forbid, raw tomatoes on pizza or in pasta for me, thanks); veggies I’ll eat raw in various dishes (corn, onions, summer squash) but really prefer cooked; veggies I love cold or hot, but which must be cooked before eating cold (beets, artichokes); and, of course, veggies I only love raw (radishes, lettuce, mustard greens, kale).

What follows is the list of veggies I can think of that I actually love just as much whether raw or cooked. See how your list compares:

* broccoli

* carrots

* cabbage (raw shredded in salads or slaw)

* peppers

* snow peas

* sugar snap peas

Hmmm, this is not a long list. What have I forgotten?! Help me, please. Share your own lists and remind me of all the veggies that are every bit as yummy cooked and raw. Many thanks!

         ‘Til next time,




1. nikki counts - March 8, 2011

Let’s see, cauliflower and sprouts come to mind. But now, I’ve drawn a blank.
I love to read your thoughts on food and your good recipes. I read cookbooks, like people read novels.

Me too, Nikki (re: cookbooks). Fun and relaxing! As for the veggies, I thought about both but didn’t add them because I don’t really like cooked sprouts, and, while I’m fine with raw cauliflower, I much prefer it cooked (unlike broccoli, which I love equally raw and cooked). Good thinking, though! And thanks for the kind words!

2. Barbee' - March 8, 2011

That’s about it for me, too. Oh, no, wait: Sweet potatoes! I love them both ways.

Oh, wow, Barbee’—raw sweet potatoes! Never heard of that. How do you eat them raw?

3. Barbee' - March 9, 2011

As a child, I sneaked some pieces away from my mother when she was cooking, and even today when I cook them, I have to eat a few slices raw. Just a munchy, crunchy snack. They turn dark in the air, but I don’t give them much chance to.

Thanks, Barbee’! I’ll have to try them!

4. Dave - March 9, 2011

With broccoli I think I prefer it raw although in a creamy alfredo sauce cooked is excellent! My mom made this salad with Broccoli called Rocks and Trees. It uses broccoli (the trees) with sunflower seeds (the rocks) some onion and bacon if you like it mixed with a creamy dressing. I can’t get enough of the stuff!

Yum, Dave! That sounds so good!!!

5. Victoria - March 9, 2011

Hate, hate raw broccoli. LOVE it cooked. Otherwise I agree with your list.

Ha! You probably have a super-sensitive palate, Victoria! Apparently most children, whose palates are much more sensitive than most adults’, hate raw broccoli too, since it tastes bitter to them. Thank goodness cooked tastes good to you!

6. Dianna - March 13, 2011

I agree with Barbee – raw sweet potatoes are great. Cut them into sticks or rounds.
Plus green beans and spinach.
yum yum!

Thanks, Dianna! I’ll bet a salad of raw sweet potatoes, green beans and spinach with a vinaigrette would be yummy!

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