If asked what their favourite flavour is, few people would say "bitter"! But rapini, Brussels sprouts and radicchio are just a few vegetables that could be described as bitter, which, cooked the right way or even raw, are absolutely delicious.
Though some of that bitterness is caused by very good-for-you antioxidants, they can still sometimes be a tough sell at the dinner table. Follow these tips to help keep some of the bitterness at bay, while getting the maximum flavour from great bitter vegetables:
- Select young vegetables. They tend to be less bitter.
- Try steaming bitter vegetables. This keeps them nice and moist and works to soften their bitterness.
- Don't overcook them. The bitterness can sometimes be intensified that way.
- Bitterness can vary plant to plant, even if it's the same vegetable. Taste your vegetable and if it's especially strong, balance it with other flavours like cream.
- Pick the right flavours to compliment the bitterness. Try pairing it with other strong flavours that can stand up to it like garlic, vinegar, citrus, or strong cheeses like Parmesan.
Bitter vegetables are healthy and once you get comfortable with them, you will love them! Check out Stefano's recipes that help kale, rapini, arugula and other great bitter vegetables shine.
Sautéed Rapini with OIives
Orzotto with Kale
Mom's Minestrone Soup
Prosciutto, Pear and Arugula Rolls
Mixed Green Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Giant T-Bone Steak with Radicchio and Walnuts