I was born and raised in a family and a nation (or even part of the world) that is largely fed on high-carb diets. We’re amazing at underground veggies. Root vegetables can be and is used in so many different ways. Above the ground veggies on the other hand is something still a little exotic in this part of the world. And there are of course reasons for that. Living on the coast far north wind and rain is more common that not. Root vegetables are safe, they grow here, just like the sheep.
Above the ground vegetables are thus sort of a little intimidating. Honestly, ten years ago I had never tasted a courgette (zucchini), paprika is something I knew three uses for: diced in salads, sliced on top of cheese on a slice of bread, or on our (I call it ours, it’s as Norwegian as komle!) Grandiosa pizza. Google that last one, it’s not something we eat often and not something I’ll blog about. But I think youtube would have some treasures for you.
However, trying to incorporate as many vegetables in our diet as possible I have to turn to the above ground types, and find new ways to use them. One dish that blew my mind, thankfully not literally, was a dish I was served at Lou Pistou in Nice last year. It was typical for the area, very simple, and just soooo good. The recipe was no secret, so the wonderful, lovely lady explained it to me. I have now tried making it myself, and this is too good not to share.
You need vegetables that you can fill, and I believe anything goes. Try making a local version! I had onions (those are a must), courgettes (zucchinis), aubergines (eggplants) and peppers (paprika). You can serve this as a full meal (mine was served with a salad – and talk about getting your five a day!!) or you can something with it (fries, rice, or similar). Here’s what you need:
- 2 onions
- 1 courgette
- 1 aubergine
- 2 peppers
- 250 grams of ground beef
- four slices of bacon
- 2 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
- thyme, oragano or basil
- two good handfulls of parmiggiano (or similar cheese)
First boil the vegetables for about five minutes. Put the whole veggies in the pot. At the same time you fry the bacon in a pan. Afterwards cut in half and scrape out what’s inside (throw away the insides of the pepper). Use the now empty and halved veggies as serving bowls. Finely chop everything else and mix together. Fill the halved veggies then bake at 200 degrees celsius for about 35 minutes.