Three Ways to Use Miso, Cauliflower, and Pickled Peanuts
I love plants.
My hair is healthy enough, but it doesn’t shine. My skin doesn’t glow; in fact, it’s craterous in places, like my mother’s. I lack energy, and my relatively small frame always feels heavy, weighed down by something intangible. I fall asleep at inappropriate times, and yet I don’t sleep at all. I feel ill more days than I feel OK, and I cannot count my doctors on two hands. I don’t absorb nutrients.
So, like bad lovers from my younger years, plants have given me nothing, but I’m still attracted to them. Vegetables—when thoughtfully prepared—are my favorite food group. Did you just unsubscribe?
I spend a lot of time thinking about what Americans eat—how our incomes force us to eat, where our food comes from and who gets it from field to plate, how folks shame fat but not sugar, how society demonizes and diminishes intolerances, how food can heal. I choose not to tackle those questions here, because my central agenda is to have no agenda. But these are the issues that sometimes cross my mind when my fork hits the plate. (Sometimes I’m too busy stuffing my big, hungry face.) And I’m certainly opinionated about them. Lucky for me, vegetable-forward cuisine is hot right now, and restaurant chefs are using vegetables in bold new ways and putting them in the center of the plate.