One of the benefits of this trending foodie culture that is currently engulfing society is that we, as a whole, are at least becoming more aware of what we consume. I'm aware that I now eat an awful lot of vegetables, and while I could spend quite some time explaining why it's nothing to do with vegetarianism per se, but rather an enhanced selectivity of who and where I procure meat from, quite frankly you'd be far better off popping out and grabbing a copy of River Cottage Veg Every Day.
Continuing my adoration of UK-based chefs, the latest offering from Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall is not only filled with a plethora of delicious recipes, but is based around an ethos on eating to which I happily subscribe. Again I could go on and extol that a knowledge of how your meat was reared and produced will impact on the flavour and quality of what goes on your plate, or discuss the importance of sustainability as we progress down the path of increasingly ignorant and neglectful consumerism; but I think the most important point HFW makes about vegetables is this: they're delicious.
If you've ever eaten homegrown tomatoes, or enjoyed the first of the season's broad beans straight from the garden, you'll know exactly what I mean. It's not about meat substitutes or your antiquated, over-boiled 'three veg', but about celebrating the unique and wonderful flavours contained within beautiful, quality produce.
It's about fundamental flavours and enjoying the simplicities in a luxurious bowl of carrot hummus.
Or the marvellous nuttiness of a comforting roast pumpkin 'speltotto'.
Thanks to this more conscientious approach to the way we eat there are now a number of specialty greengrocers and superb farmer's markets out there working hard to make sure that we have an extraordinary range of fresh, seasonal vegetables at our disposal, so please do go and enjoy them...