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Five Vegetarian Principles

Spice things up.

Add complexity to vegetables with bold spices, like cumin (toast the seeds to bump up the flavor), or exotic spice blends.

Focus on texture.

Crisp nuts and chewy dried fruit make grain dishes and salads more satisfying, while olive and nut oils and creamy sauces add a richness that elevates humble foods like beans. Roasting or braising vegetables gives them a luscious texture, not to mention a deep flavor.

Offer grains and greens.

Hearty grain or bean dishes should be offset by something light, raw and refreshing--like a spinach salad.

Go for variety.

A meze assortment (a buffet of small dishes) makes a vegetarian meal more exciting, because it offers a wide range of flavors.

Don’t be afraid to serve wine with vegetables.

Avoid oaky and tannic wines, which pair best with red meat and other fatty foods; instead, opt for fruity wines with soft textures, like Regaleali’s Rosso, Rosato and Bianco from the Sicilian estate Tasca d’Almerita.

Published August 2002
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