Taste Testing Parties!



Last week I picked up my CSA bag to find the biggest egg plant I had ever seen. It also included many varieties of peppers, beets, and some yummy Roma tomatoes!  I thought of all types of recipes to try-like eggplant hummus, or stuffed peppers rolled in bread crumbs and baked, or eggplant Parmesan.  Then I remembered I had a class with parents and Childs coming in.  What’s a class about cooking if you don’t sample something?

Many of the participants had never tried roasted vegetables before. We discussed that everyone likes certain foods, but may not like them in certain ways.  For example, many times, children like raw veggies, but may not like them cooked to death.  But, they may like them roasted!  Or even “smoothied!”.  So the parents and children made fruit smoothies in class with. Different types of fruit and yogurt.  One of the smoothies was made with grapes, yogurt, spinach, kiwi and bananas!  It was a hit, even for people who do not like spinach.

I chopped the other vegetables up into the same size pedicels and roasted them at 400 degrees for almost and hour. They turned out soft, somewhat crunchy, and extremely tasty!  I added a little bit of olive oil to them before roasting and a small amount of garlic salt.  The people who didn’t like beets, or had never tried them thought they were great!  Most had never tried roasted eggplant before and thought it tasted good.  The roasted peppers were a hit- including the roasted jalapeños!  I really thought they would be too spicy- but not so.

So in the end, I spoke with my group about tasting parties at home. I encourage them and you, dear reader, to try a new veggie this week, or cook and old veggie in a new way.  Roast or grill one.  Try new seasonings.  Experiment.  Then have your own tasting party!  If we are lucky, it will catch on and we will someday be able to celebrate national fruit and veggie day!

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