When I first joined Rijk Zwaan in 2019, the fourth largest vegetable seed breeding company in the world, my eyes were opened about vegetables and about food in general.
We all know that vegetables are good for us, but as a consumer, I never really thought about how new varieties were created, the research and development processes they go through, or the rigorous seed quality processes that are undertaken. Since then, I’ve learnt more about vegetables than I ever thought possible.
It’s surprisingly easy to make vegetables taste great and my mum always took a lot of pride in cooking healthy, nutritious and interesting meals for our family. Growing up in Cairo, Egypt, before working in Turkey, then settling in Australia, she was always interested in many different cuisines and any new and interesting ways of combining flavours to make food taste great.
Often, my brother and I would smell the fragrant and delicious aroma of dinner before walking in the front door. On weekends and after school, friends would often drop by to play, but also to see what was on the menu. More often than not, they would stay for dinner. Years later, I still have friends reminiscing about mums lasagne or various traditional Egyptian dishes.
A few key ingredients and strategic seasoning made all the difference to any dish and years later, I find myself calling to check what she would add to a particular meal if it isn’t tasting quite like hers. Featured ingredients in most of her dishes would be onions, garlic, mushrooms and spinach. The trick, she said, was to know which combination of ingredients would complement the main ingredient of your meal. One delicious winter dish that I have always enjoyed is the vegetarian version of this Traditional Egyptian eggplant moussaka*, which has been passed down through the generations of my family. Check it out and I hope you enjoy it too!
For more great recipe ideas, type your vegetable or cuisine in the search bar or check out Salapedia. *Eggplant is also known as aubergine in some countries