From amaranth to zoodles, grocery store aisles are packed with trendy health foods. But once you get such items home, turning them into delicious meals isn’t easy. Here, culinary whizzes share tips for how to make superfoods actually taste good.
“Riced cauliflower can be very satisfying as a rice alternative, but if you overcook it, it’s like eating mash,” says Laurence Edelman, executive chef of Left Bank in the West Village. He recommends cooking it in a sizzling hot pan with olive oil for just a minute, so it’s barely cooked. Transfer it to a Mason jar and let it continue steaming a little bit. Then dress it with a pesto sauce. “It really brightens up the cauliflower, visually and flavorwise,” says Edelman.
Zucchini noodles can get soggy if you cook too many at once, or if the pan isn’t hot enough, says Carmine’s executive chef Glenn Rolnick. He suggests heating olive oil and butter in an extremely hot pan, adding the zoodles and cooking for a few minutes, until they get light brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the veggies will create too much steam and get mushy. Top them with more olive oil, cheese and sauteed garlic. “I cook these all the time at home,” says Rolnick. “They look like a pasta but can almost taste even better.”