Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Knights of Columbus Breakfast
7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Westerly

... View all of today's events


Stay Connected




image
Anthony Thornton The Vail Daily
The Peas & Carrots dish at Kelly Liken in Vail, Colo. The concoction includes brown butter financier, with a sauce of English peas alongside carrot sorbet and carrot marmalade. | AP Photo/The Vail Daily, Anthony Thornton

Vegetables as dessert ingredient


Eat your veggies or no dessert? How about eat your vegetables AS dessert?

And we’re not talking grandma’s zucchini bread. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Maybe you’d like some beetroot ice cream as served by the Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica, California. Or perhaps your fancy runs more to sweet asparagus beignets laced with almonds with green asparagus ice cream, poppy seed crunch and violet syrup, a creation of chef Bart Vandaele at the Belga Cafe in Washington, D.C.

The trend is a natural outgrowth of the emphasis on eating fresh and local, says Kelly Liken, who runs her eponymous restaurant in Vail, Colorado. Serving the same fruit over and over can get a little monotonous and if you have lots of vegetables at your disposal it only makes sense to experiment a little.

Among the desserts she and pastry chef Colleen Carey have come up with are Peas & Carrots. That would be a concoction that includes brown butter financier (a type of cake) with a sauce of English peas alongside carrot sorbet and carrot marmalade.

Those are peas and carrots showing some serious side.

Liken, who appeared on Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” opened her restaurant 10 years ago and “for 10 years we’ve been really, really focused on our local vegetables,” she says. “We’re constantly having to come up with new and innovative vegetable ideas.”

With the new school year looming, along with the task of packing daily lunches, finding new ways to look at vegetables is something parents can explore. And it doesn’t have to be elaborate; Liken recommends tactics such as grating carrots and zucchini or other squashes into oatmeal cookie mix.

“I always tell parents that’s definitely a good way to ‘stealth health’ the dessert,” she says.

Some of the new desserts put a twist on old classics, like chef Jamie Bissonette’s carrot cake take.

Bissonette, the James Beard Award-winning chef behind Toro and Coppa in Boston and Toro in New York City, adds carrot juice to whipped cream to add a beautiful touch of orange to the dish, served at Coppa in Boston’s South End.

At Jamba Juice, the company saw the interest in vegetables and decided to incorporate them into what had been all-fruit smoothies.

The Apple n’ Greens smoothie, for instance combines apple and strawberry juices, kale, peaches, mangos and bananas. “Kale smoothie” might not be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of delicious drinks. But it’s turned out to be a tasty and extremely popular, says Susan Shields, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Jamba Juice.

There are four fruit-veggie smoothies, including Tropical Harvest, which blends butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and mangos.

“The beauty about these four items is they taste really good,” says Shields. “The kids love these. They don’t know that they’re vegetables.”



Back to Food
Top Stories of the Week

Dunn’s Corners McDonald’s closes its doors for good …
WESTERLY — Big Mac lovers living in the Dunn’s Corners section of town will have to travel a bit further to bite into the classic … more ...

Charlestown man subdued with Taser after brief chase …
WESTERLY — A local man is facing charges in two area towns after police said he made threats against an ex at Franklin Plaza before … more ...

What a cold, wet mess! Snow wreaking havoc on area …
A heavy, wet snow is wreaking havoc on area roads today, with police and Public Works crews from Stonington to Charlestown reporting multiple accidents and … more ...

Police, firefighters dig in, top $3K for #DStrong …
WESTERLY — The Westerly Police Department grabbed bragging rights over their firefighter brethren Wednesday evening, eating more than 30 additional wings in a timed competition. … more ...

Woman faces charges in return to Pawcatuck campsite …
PAWCATUCK — Less than two weeks after officials dismantled and cleared out a homeless encampment in the woods off Route 2, a woman is facing … more ...

Comments