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Food

Hearty Vegetable Recipes to Prepare and Enjoy in March

March, “in like a lion and out like a lamb,” can often be a tricky month for planning a menu. The exact origin of the expression is a bit difficult to trace, though The Paris Review notes that “one of the earliest citations is in one Thomas Fuller’s 1732 compendium, Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British,” with “the wording as ‘Comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb.’”

With many chilly days still lingering on in March until the start of spring, hearty vegetable soups can be a delicious option for those weeknight meals on those cooler, even blustery, days. Salads are, of course, the lighter option as the warmer days begin appearing around the end of the month. Prep the ingredients in advance so you can stir together a tasty dinner in a fraction of the time.

Vegetable Soup

Soup. Photo by Becca Tapert, via Unsplash

2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 medium-large leek, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 large carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 medium sweet potato, grated

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

10 cups water or vegetable stock

1 cup short pasta, such as ditalini

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leek, garlic carrots, celery, bell pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with about half of the salt and pepper and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the grated sweet potato and cook for about two minutes. Add the cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook for another minute, then add the water or stock. Raise the heat to medium high to bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 12 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper and serve hot after removing the bay leaves and the sprigs of thyme.

Politiki Salad

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon Greek sea salt, divided

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

4 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the vinegar. Add the cabbage, carrot, bell pepper, and celery, and toss to combine. Set aside for about 15 minutes. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the vegetables and transfer them to a separate bowl. Discard the liquid. Add the oil, red pepper flakes, pepper, and remaining salt to the vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately or cover tightly and store in the refrigerator to chill for 15-20 minutes until ready to serve.

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