Who has two green thumbs and loves veggies?! Iron chef and ABC The Chew's co-host Michael Simon does! His key to deliciousness: growing and maintaining a healthy garden.
Check out the video above where one of our favorite Chew chefs takes a field trip to NYC and visits the famous Waldorf Astoria Garden. This restaurant has its very own rooftop garden where they grow fresh herbs and even have their own bee homes to produce honey.
Michael's tips for at-home gardens: raised beds. It will help keep the nutrients in and help your back with minimal bending! Read below for some veggie recipes inspired by Chef Michael's trip to the Waldorf.
Roasted pepper relish
Makes about 2 cups
Inspired after watching The Chew's Michael Simon and his trip to NYC? If you're new to veggie meals, this is an easy one to start out with.
This beautiful relish of tricolor peppers gets its pop of acidity from capers and red wine vinegar and gets a kick of umami from anchovies. Try it spread over grilled fish or chicken or toss it with farro or pasta for an intriguing summer salad.
- 3 bell peppers of any color
- 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
- 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the broiler and move the top oven rack as close to the broiler as it will go, leaving enough room for the peppers. Once the oven is hot, place the peppers beneath the broiler and cook them until the skin is charred on all sides, flipping as each side darkens.
- When the peppers are fully charred, move them to a large bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap for 10 minutes to help loosen the skins. Gently rub off the skins, using running water as needed to cool the peppers and rinse off any bits of skin. Remove the stems and seeds and slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.
- In a large bowl, stir together the roasted peppers, capers, anchovies, vinegar, oil and salt. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
After taking Michael's advice for raised beds and gardens at home, it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and devour your at-home veggies! To spice things up, mold your veggies into unique dishes that the whole family will love.
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1-1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Olive oil and/or butter, for frying
- Cut the zucchini in half, width-wise, and chop into 1/2-inch-thick sticks.
- Set up your bread station: Put the flour, eggs and bread crumbs into separate shallow bowls. Stir the salt and thyme into the bread crumbs.
- One by one, toss the zucchini sticks into the flour, dip them in the egg and roll them in the bread crumbs. Move the sticks to a large plate or baking sheet while you bread the remaining zucchini.
- Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add enough oil, butter or a combination of the two to a depth of 1/4 inch. Once the oil is hot, add the zucchini sticks in a single layer, working in batches as needed, and cook them until golden brown. Flip them and cook the opposite side also until golden. Move the zucchini sticks to a paper towel–lined plate, sprinkle with a little salt and serve hot.
Summer vegetable tartine
An easy and satisfying summer lunch. Double the recipe and serve the leftovers cold or at room temperature. You're looking for 4 cups of vegetables, so feel free to use whatever your garden is producing. Eggplant and tomatoes would be a wonderful addition, as would okra, corn, onions and hot peppers.
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, with stems and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided use
- 3/4 cup cream cheese
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 4 slices sourdough bread, toasted
- julienned basil (optional garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large baking dish, stir together the zucchini, squash, pepper, oil, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt until evenly distributed. Roast the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and just starting to brown at the edges (about 45 minutes).
- In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread the topping evenly among the slices of bread and top with the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with extra balsamic and julienned basil, if desired.
For more ways to green your meals, tune into ABC's The Chew weekdays at 1e|12p|c.
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