Bill Addison and Patricia I. Escárcega talk about vegetables a lot in their list of L.A.’s 101 best restaurants. It’s part zeitgeist — it seems like we’re all eating less meaty than we were a decade ago — and part that the produce in Southern California is without peer, as is what our city’s chefs do with it.
Roasted carrots become infinitely richer with rosemary butter and black pepper creme fraiche in this simple dish from Connie & Ted’s Sam Baxter. Another hearty cool-weather dish comes from Gary Menes of Le Comptoir. He caramelizes winter squash, then serves it with a dried cherry relish, roasted onions and wheat berries. It’s satisfying enough to be a meal on its own.
For even more green on your plate, you can pile on these green beans from Matt Molina of Hippo. They’ve got a kick from chiles and brightness from a mustard dressing. Just as fresh is this spring pea salad from the Exchange’s Alex Chang and this asparagus with green garlic mayonnaise from Keith Corbin of Alta Adams.
Come summer, you’ll want to turn your heirloom tomatoes into this bagna cauda from Jonathan Whitener and Lien Ta of Here’s Looking at You. And all that eggplant? Use it up in this honeyed dish of marinated eggplant from Hasiba’s Alex Phaneuf and Or Amsalam.