Springtime brings forth an abundance of sweet, fresh, full of flavor vegetables. Now is a good time to eat them raw (even green beans and asparagus are great raw this time of year)! IF you’re just not into that, a great way to maintain as many nutrients as possible and extract even MORE flavor from your favorite veggies is to roast them. Toss them with a little extra virgin olive oil, some kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. That’s all. Put them in a 450 degree oven or on your grill, wrapped in foil with a couple of holes poked out, for about 10 minutes, unless your favorite veggies are sugary (starchy) like beets, parsnips, carrots … they take longer because they’re more dense – anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Cut your veggies in uniform size and they’ll all get done at the same time. Guess how many veggies are represented in the photo attached…the answer is at www.lulasforlunch.com under Seasonal Selections! To your health, and TASTEBUDS! – Lula
A fresh tomato is FABULOUS coming right from the garden – raw, sunkissed, warm, or thrown into a pan with some fresh basil till they pop … but we can only have that about 3 months out of every year. The next best thing is a good CANNED tomato – which is picked and packed at its ripest and freshest.
Until not so long ago, the prized “San Marzano” tomatoes were the cans of choice amongst cooks in the know. But, this was just a region in Italy where good “meaty” tomatoes were grown, and now the same variety comes from California as well.
The best quality canned tomatoes usually come whole, rather than diced or pureed. This is generally because whole tomatoes have to be “pretty” – it’s easier to throw in a bruised tomato to the chopper – it won’t be detected by the eye all diced up. Whole tomatoes have to be handled more carefully for exactly this reason as well – so they’re given a bit more love going into the machine. It’s just as easy to make sauces from whole canned tomatoes as it is to make them from crushed or puree – just one more step. Either throw them into the blender or use an immersion blender before you start your sauce.