National Eat Your Veggies Day
Southern Cuisine Post by Whitney Long.
CELEBRATIONS – National Eat Your Veggies Day
Summer is here and that means it’s vegetable time! In fact, June 17 is “National Eat Your Vegetables Day”. But here in the South, it’s something we celebrate every day.
Home of the “vegetable plate”, Southerners can enjoy the bounty of our crops year round and especially this time of year. With tomatoes, squash, okra, butter beans, peas, corn, peppers, onions and much more growing abundantly, we are a blessed bunch to be able to go out and pick, pull and gather the makings for a fine and healthy meal.
Is there anything better on a summer day than a fresh picked, juicy tomato on white bread with mayo and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper? Sometimes, if I am feeling fancy, I top it with feta cheese. I could eat one every day once the hot weather arrives. Or what about a mess of field peas – picked, shelled and cooked by your own two hands? And don’t forget to top the peas off with a spoonful of tomato relish – a match made in Heaven.
As for the above mentioned veggie plate – usually consisting 3 or 4 vegetables served with a slice cornbread and a glass of tea – is there a better comfort food to the southern palate? If there is one on the menu, that’s what I always order and if not, I have been known to create my own from the list of sides.
Whether it’s a cinderblock building that’s been there forever with the chalkboard menu featuring staples such as creamed corn, cabbage, butter beans, stewed tomatoes and okra, or a “New South” restaurant with choices like Snap Beans with Turnip Mostarda and Chile Flakes (www.huskrestaurant.com), Summer Salad (www.thenational.com), Caramelized Whole Roasted Cauliflower (www.runchickenrun.com) or Early Corn Soup (www.fiveandten.com), eating your vegetables is a good thing and has never been more interesting!
We have some delicious recipes to share highlighting some of summer’s bounty:
Fire-n-Ice Summer Salad http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2009/06/fire-ice-summer-salad.html
Squash and Tomato Bakehttp://www.midwestliving.com/food/fruits-veggies/vegetable-recipes/#page=4
Snap Bean and Corn Saladhttp://www.delish.com/recipefinder/snap-bean-corn-salad-recipe-rbk0610
Corn, Tomato and Cheddar Piehttp://www.clockworklemon.com/2011/09/corn-tomato-and-cheddar-pie.html
Summer Squash and Carrot Ribbonshttp://www.delish.com/entertaining-ideas/parties/picnics/fresh-vegetable-side-dishes-toplist
Three Ways to Butter Up Summer Corn http://www.midwestliving.com/food/fruits-veggies/vegetable-recipes/#page=9
For an unbelievably easy and ingenious way to cook corn on the cob see this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnBF6bv4Oe4
All of these recipes can also be found on The Southern C’s Pinterest board “Cocktails and Cuisine” http://pinterest.com/thesouthernc/cocktails-and-cuisine/
by Whitney Long
Enjoy this southern recipe in this collection of our southern cuisine – let’s gather the best southern food ideas for The Southern Coterie cookbook.