Vegetables are supposed to be healthy, but when the weather turns this miserable, you need something a little heartier than green juice and raw kale. Fortunately, chefs are more than happy to oblige by offering things like beet chips, bacon-topped celery root, and a fantastically rich skillet full of cauliflower fritters. Here are 14 stick-to-your-bones vegetable dishes that most definitely are not for gluten-averse, vegan-leaning dieters.
Twice-Baked Celery Root
Chef John Fraser is a veggie pro, and his menu includes crispy carrot fries, spinach with potato chips, and a creamy celery-root side dish that tastes like macaroni-and-cheese without the mac — with a final sprinkling of bacon on top.
Creamed Masa With Beer-Braised Collard Greens
Where: Mission Cantina
It’s important to get your daily serving of greens … and beer. Danny Bowien also makes excellent, heavy vegetarian tacos, like a pumpkin one with pumpkin mole, pumpkin seeds, and queso cotija.
Broccoli & Cheese Puffs
Where: The Dutch
Broccoli always tastes better when it’s mixed with butter, flour, and melted cheese.
Jerusalem Artichokes With Brown Butter
These virtuous sunchokes arrive on the table swimming in brown butter and soy, and rival any hearty roasted potato dish.
Amanida Temperada de Carbassó
Where: El Born
At this new Greenpoint tapas restaurant, chef Diego Gonzalez pairs warm zucchini with with Ibérico ham, blueberries, and Padrón-pepper vinaigrette.
Smoked Broccoli Dogs
Where: Dirt Candy
Amanda Cohen is the pioneer of kooky, unhealthy vegetable dishes: Her newest creation is smoked and grilled broccoli inside a homemade bun with broccoli sauerkraut, slow-cooked broccoli puree, broccoli-rabe oil, a mustard-based barbecue sauce, baked broccoli-rabe chips, broccoli-rabe coleslaw, and mico-broccoli greens. Impressive.
Roasted Kabocha Squash Toast
Where: ABC Kitchen
With thick, crusty country bread, a slab of ricotta, and apple-cider vinegar, this sugary, seasonal toast is a (small) meal in itself. Equally sweet: roasted sunchokes with hazelnuts and herbs, which actually taste like candy.
Winter Vegetable Gratin
The second course of Dover’s excellent chicken-for-two dish includes a cheesy gratin that’s so good, it almost steals the roast chicken’s thunder.
At brunchtime only, the chefs at this critically-acclaimed darling deep-fry cauliflower and serve it with spicy aïoli.
Brussels Sprouts With Chili Jam
Where: Empire Diner
Amanda Freitag’s new Brussels sprouts recipe is sticky-sweet, and she pulls a Jessica Seinfeld move by sneaking broccoli into creamy orzo mac ‘n’ cheese with black-truffle butter.
Where: The Cleveland
New chef Max Sussman’s menu includes crunchy beet chips with a dip made of crispy onion and miticrema cheese, roasted carrots with goat butter, and Chinese-style broccoli.
Fried Watercress With Cashews and Chili Oil
Where: Telepan Local
There are tons of (very) vaguely healthy vegetarian dishes on the menu here: mushrooms in parchment with butter, broccoli rabe with parmesan, egg yolks, and white anchovies, roasted beets with house-made ricotta and honey, and a cauliflower gratin.
This brand new Clinton Hill pizzeria fries Brussels sprouts and then mixes them with apples, Worcestershire sauce, chilies, and black sesame. The perfect accompaniment to an entire pizza pie.