Gan bian si ji—Sichuan-style dry-fried green beans with chilies and pickles—are one of the best and most mistranslated vegetable dishes in the world. Today that dish and I are on a road trip back to authenticity, and we're going to be driving that minibus over some uncharted territory.
'@quick-vegetable' on Serious Eats
Sichuan Shirataki Sesame Noodle Salad With Cucumber, Sichuan Peppercorn, Chili Oil, and Peanuts (Vegan)
Slick shirataki noodles are perfect for cold noodle salads where their slippery texture helps keep each strand separate while simultaneously picking up plenty of flavor from a sauce of Sichuan peppercorn and chili-infused oil, black vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, and peanuts.
This quick and easy dairy-free, fat-free Colombian vegetable soup comes out creamy and comforting thanks to the natural thickening power of potatoes. No added cream, milk, or butter means that the soup shines with vegetable flavor from peas, fava beans, carrots, and carrots. The stovetop version takes about 45 minutes of hands-off work while the pressure cooker can cut that time down to under half an hour.
Caponata, the Sicilian dish of eggplant and other vegetables sautéed in a sweet and sour sauce can be shockingly flavorful the first time you try it. And I'm not using the word shockingly lightly here. Packed with extra-virgin olive oil, raisins, pine nuts, herbs, vinegar, sugar, and a slew of other ingredients, it's the kind of dish you have to recalibrate your whole mouth for in order to really appreciate it. But once that recalibration is done, man oh man is it great stuff.
This easy one-pot polenta and kale soup hails from Italy, but we give it a distinctly Japanese twist: In place of the Parmesan called for in a traditional recipe, we finish ours up with the addition of miso paste, soy sauce, and scallions. It's savory, rich, and 100% vegan.
The dressing for this salad fires on all cylinders with big bursts of hot, acidic, sweet, and savory elements all in balance. The dressing coats crisp fried pork rinds, softening them up slightly, and making them taste almost bright and refreshing when coupled with plenty of fresh herbs and bean sprouts.
Ful mudammas, stewed fava beans, is a staple dish all over the Levant. Some versions are mild mannered and comforting. This one, loaded with olive oil, lemon, garlic, cumin, and a kick of chili powder, is anything but. Serve it as a bean stew or mash up the beans and use it as a high octane dip.
Hummus is fine, but the real power legume of the Middle East is the fava bean. Ful mudammas is the Egyptian breakfast dish of favas stewed with tahini and seasoned with garlic, cumin, and lemon. This creamy, comforting version is much like what you'll find around the streets of Cairo.
An easy potato-leek soup that takes no shortcuts to deliver the best flavor and texture possible. A touch of buttermilk and potatoes pressed through a ricer are the secret.
Most produce is a sad sight during the winter, except for citrus. We whipped up this tangerine vinaigrette to celebrate one of the few fruits that's best this time of year, then served it on a simple salad of shaved fennel and radicchio.
With a large stash of really great tortillas in my fridge at all times, I wind up making a lot of tacos. My favorite in recent memory are these sweet potato tacos flavored with sage and topped with sliced radish, cilantro, crema, and a fried egg. Great for breakfast, but really good any time of day.
Cheese smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwich) are eaten to conclude a meal. This version with tangy blue cheese, mellow pear, and toasted hazelnuts is sweet without being cloying.
Thai pomelos tend to be dryer and less sweet than their American-available counterparts, but that shouldn't stop you from using them in a Thai-inspired salad nonetheless. Heck, even bitter grapefruit would make a great addition to this salad that combines fiery heat, bitterness, and sweetness in perfect balance.
Loosely based on Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad, this easy make-ahead salad combines grape tomatoes (sweet and ripe any time of year) with cucumber, parsley, mint, and quinoa for a bright and refreshing make-ahead salad that's hearty enough to serve as a light meal.
This simple seven-ingredient salad is packed with flavor thanks to a vinaigrette made from warm bacon fat, shallots, hazelnuts, honey, and sherry vinegar, with just a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. The Brussels sprouts leaves are cooked just long enough to give them some sweet, nutty char, but still retain a fresh green bite.
Crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-in-the-middle, these beer-battered avocado slices are tucked into warm corn tortillas with cabbage, salsa verde, pickled red onions, and a creamy chipotle sauce. These are the most decadent vegetarian tacos you'll ever eat.
As someone who grew up dreading bland, under- or over-cooked cauliflower, this recipe is a game-changer. The high heat of the grill gives the vegetable its crisp exterior, while an earthy spice rub delivers a ton of flavor.
I spend a lot of time writing about complex techniques, but in truth, most of the stuff I like to cook for myself at home is pretty simple. This is one of those nice and easy summer dishes that relies only on great produce—zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes—and simple technique, but comes with a little bit of a rough twist at the end.
Eggplants have always been a difficult vegetable for me. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and stripes and are surrounded by dos and don'ts. But with enough delicious recipes under your belt, it's pretty easy to overlook the post-cooking appearance and realize that all those dos and don'ts are really more suggestions than hard-and-fast rules. This recipe, which combines small Italian eggplants cooked whole in olive oil along with harissa, chickpeas, and tomatoes, is one such preparation.
Deeply fragrant with smoky charred edges, cabbage takes on a nutty, sweet flavor when grilled over blazing hot coals, and a great texture that's simultaneously tender and crisp. Its layered structure also makes it the ideal vessel for picking up both smoke flavor from the grill and whatever sauce you choose to serve it with. In this case, we're going with a rich blue cheese dressing, tomatoes, and—if you want them—bacon bits.