With just a few clever ingredients you can transform humble vegetables into something truly special. Adding big, bold flavours to in-season veg is a simple way to put them centre stage at dinner time, and to celebrate National Vegetarian Week in the UK, we’ve put together a list of our five kitchen staples for next-level veggie cooking.
The key is to mix things up, prepping and cooking your veg in new ways. Marinating, grilling and roasting are all great ways to introduce new textures and flavours to your veggie menu. When paired with a handful of herbs and a pinch of spice, you’re definitely onto a winner.
Fresh herbs and vegetables are a classic combo. Herbs are a simple way of adding big flavour without the calories, and they cost mere pennies – especially when your grow your own. Aside from traditional pairings like tomato and basil or pea and mint, use whatever you have to hand! Try different combinations of herbs and veg to really make a dish your own.
Fruit is a deliciously healthy way to transform veg – a squeeze of citrus juice or a handful of pomegranate seeds are all you need to add an extra hit of refreshing, sharp sweetness to vegetables. Fruit can be used simply as a dressing or garnish, or to create a new veggie accompaniment entirely – like this spiced lemon pickle. For a fresh twist on your favourite vegetarian dishes, mix it up and pair your veg with whatever fruit is in season.
NUTS & SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are the perfect way to add texture to veggie dishes. Sesame seeds make the ultimate coating for roasted veg, hazelnuts are gorgeous when tossed into a salad and cashews are ideal for quick, simple stir-fries. A jar of mixed nuts and seeds are the ideal kitchen remedy for those suppers that need an extra something special. Better yet, they’re packed full of the good stuff, too!
From warming cinnamon to fragrant turmeric, spices are so versatile and can transform your veg from a humble side dish to a gorgeous centrepiece. Use smoky paprika and black pepper to create a gorgeous rub for roasting cauliflower, or add a pinch of cumin to a vegetable curry or comforting pie.
Yoghurt is a great ingredient to have tucked away in the fridge. Add to dressings for a gentle tang or use in a dip for simple and delicious veggie snacking. A dollop of yoghurt is a great way of cooling down fiery veggie classics like Jamie’s smoky veggie chilli when serving, too.
For more veggie inspiration, check out our vegetarian recipes, or flick through our gallery of vegetable dishes that’ll make even the most adamant of meat eaters envious. You can also explore the wonderful world of veg in the Vegepedia!