The Delightful Dutch Dish

How one can cook oneself back into local reality

Brassicaceae April 12, 2010

Filed under: vegetable — orangepumpkin @ 18:34

Recently I discovered something. I love most vegetables from the Brassicaceae-family. I have a preference towards them even. As well as aliaceae (onions, garlic, leek, I mean, what would life be without them?), but I already knew that. I just didn’t know that so many of the things I love are related to each other in the Brassicaceae-family.

First of all: garden cress. My life is depending on it! I use garden cress in a lot of things. For instance my kick ass sandwiches. They need cress. Lots of cress!

Another thing: rucola (rocket).  It’s another family member. It has a bit of a peppery taste. Which, apparently, is characteristic. I like rucola. I like the word. ‘Rucola’. I can say that in the mirror time and again, until I almost feel Italian. Because I think it is Italian. And I love Italy. I’ve never been there, but I should move there, and never leave again. I could have pommodori and rucola. I could have pesto and avocado (ok, thats Peruvian, but I’d plant a avocado tree there, and I’ll kick it if it doesn’t grow enough avocados). I could have mozzarella and olive oil. And I wouldn’t feel like a sinner every time I have these things. It would be perfectly OK and normal. Because they’re Italian. I would eat pasta, and only pasta. I’d never have to bother with any depressing potato-dishes anymore. I’d drink wine like it’s water. I’d run around in a t-shirt and skirt, I’d wear flip-flops year round. And life would be great.

Um, sorry, I wasn’t talking about Italy, was I? Oh yes, I remember. Brassicaceae!

Did you know another family member is mustard? Yup. I like mustard. I think mustard is awesome. I remember that we went on a holiday to France (don’t worry, I won’t get sidetracked here, I hate France. Even if they have tomatoes, rucola, mozzarella, and the Provence. France sucks). It was in the Provence. I fell in love with the lavender fields. It’s the only good thing from France, you know, lavender fields. Lavender honey. Lavender oil. But anyway, we also went to a market in a small Provençal village. Which was awesome. My mum bought us French comics. The sun was shining. There were grapes. And then we went to a lavender field and we bought some of the most awesome honey I’ve ever tasted. In another village we bought a few jars of special mustard. And I remember one specifically. It was the most awesome mustard ever made. It was ‘moutarde au miel’, there’s no way to say that in another language, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But ok, since you probably don’t know that ‘miel’ is honey, I’ll translate; it was mustard with honey, honey mustard. And boy! Friggin’ awesome! As was the mustard with the cool herbs, but I don’t remember that one as well as the ‘moutarde au miel’, because in my teeny tiny child’s mind, that was (and is) the most awesome mustard. Ever.

See, no sidetrack, it was all about mustard! But, I found out yesterday that there is another cool family member of Brassicaceae: radish. Right now, I think I should start a religion. I will devote all my life to eating Brassicaceae and worshipping the divinity of it. But I’m not exactly religious, so it would be hypocrite to worship a vegetable, and then eat it, wouldn’t it? So I won’t. I just tell you that I think Brassicaceae deserve their own house of worship: a restaurant!

And another family member is: raapsteeltjes (turnip greens, I’ve loved ’em before)! I love those! I think Spring could not be celebrated right without a raapsteel-stamppot (oh, it’s the potatoes again!). Life wouldn’t be the same without them, that’s all I’m saying.

But let’s not forget about horseradish. I love that stuff! Besides Italian food I have a weak spot for Japanese. And the Japanese cuisine in itself can be considered religion. But especially sushi and sashimi are true religions. They worship wasabi. And wasabi is made of horseradish. Wasabi is wonderful. Too much and you’ll die, or at least most of your taste buds will. Not enough, and you don’t feel half-alive. But just enough, oh la la! It will make you feel alive and awake. And then you still have a bit of tuna or salmon to enjoy while feeling properly alive. Yeah, wasabi’s the stuff I’d be surving in my house of worship!

And the most beautiful yellow flower (well, almost) is also a member of the extensive Brassicaceae-family: rapeseed (canola). I loved the fields of flowering rapeseed (which would’ve been both in France and the Netherlands, but they’re to be found in Germany as well).

The only part of the family I don’t really care for is the cabbage. I consider them the in-laws. They’re a sorry bunch trying to hitch a ride with their cool cousins. But that won’t fly. I think cabbage is worse than potatoes. I might kind of like broccoli, probably because it sounds kind of Italian, but the rest of them I really don’t care for. I think they’re depressing winter foods that should be banned. I’d prefer to eat leek and pumpkins all winter. Or just hibernate and don’t eat at all. But thank god I’ve got my peppered tasty friends left!


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