I've been quite taken of late with all the little vegetable dishes on offer at restaurants of all sorts. Starters often include numerous ingeniously composed salads that really let seasonal produce shine. Sides are no longer merely a choice between boring steamed broccoli or french fries, and I've been known to make a whole meal from the enticing options—pureed squash with hazelnuts, chile-sauteed broccoli rabe, ragù of mushrooms, polenta with gorgonzola, fennel braised in cream. I think I've mentioned to you a few lovely meals I've had recently at A Voce
, Missy Robbins' Italian-inflected restaurant in New York City's Time Warner Center. The lunch menu includes a selection of verdure
, small vegetable dishes like eggplant with calabrian chile; beets with pistachios and orange; cauliflower with almonds and raisins; and a delightfully simple salad of radishes with an anchovy vinaigrette. After trying this last combination, I began craving it at home. It's crisp, salty and satisfying while still being light and healthy.