An ode to the humble vegetable

Beautiful swiss chard“Isn’t the ruby-red Swiss chard as beautiful as any flower?” writes Vigen Guroian, Eastern Orthodox theologian and author.

“Beauty can exist in the vegetable garden and be appreciated every bit as much as beauty in the perennial bed,” he continues. “I cannot conceive that the activity of farming will ever completely be divorced from the vision of beauty, even in the most mechanized and industrialized farming, for flower and fruit are beautiful in and of themselves.” (“The Fragrance of God,” pp. 80-81).

Elegant eggplant

I’ve been enjoying the visual beauty of summer produce this year, not to mention the delightful taste! Sometimes I buy vegetables at the farmer’s market just because they’re pretty, but I always find that the sight of them and the taste of them are equally appealing. Rainbow Swiss chard leaves as big as paper fans melt down into silky sauteed greens; uniquely striped, violet eggplant soaks up olive oil to become a melt-in-your-mouth delicacy; the sweet tang of red zebra tomatoes melds with red wine and basil in thick homemade sauce; and the stunning green geometric forms of romanesco cauliflower add some crunch to a salad.

Amazingly geometric romanesco cauliflower

In these last few weeks of summer, I hope you “taste and see that the LORD is good,” appreciating both the culinary and the visual beauty of ordinary vegetables. Let me share a few of my favorite recipes to help you take advantage of what’s in season while it lasts:

Baked rigatoni with sausage and eggplant Red zebra tomato

Tomato, basil, and ricotta tart

Crustless zucchini tomato pie

Zucchini potato frittata

Zucchini lasagna


10 thoughts on “An ode to the humble vegetable

  1. I love the photos! The romanesco cauliflower is stunning! I have never seen that before. I have eaten the crustless zucchini tomato pie with your homegrown heirloom tomatoes- colorful and delicious! I have also savored the zucchini potato frittata. Thanks for helping us delight in the God who created such an abundant variety of vegetables.

  2. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I love your blog as well and after reading your “About” page I see we have much in common! I pinned one of these recipes!

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