Going meatless for January shouldn’t just mean nonstop salads. Restaurants across the country are giving vegetables the old-school beef approach.
BEETsteak Sandwich at Beefsteak, Washington, D.C.
Disregard the meaty name at Jose Andres’ quick-casual vegetable-centric restaurant: “Beefsteak” actually refers to the thick, juicy tomato varietal that stars in the summer veggie burger. In cooler months, the tomato is replaced by a slice of earthy marinated beet, with pickled red onions, spicy vegan mayonnaise and sprouts on a brioche bun. “The beet is a boldly flavored veggie alternative that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients of the sandwich,” explains Executive Chef Pat Peterson. “The marinated beet slice has a hearty bite, but melts in your mouth.”
Squash Carpaccio at Santina, New York City
Thinly shaved slices of delicata squash have the brightness of summer sun at this Capri-inspired New York City restaurant. The kitchen layers the near-translucent carpaccio slices, giving them a quick brulee to lend a slightly caramelized flavor, then tops the dish with honey agrodolce, cracked pink peppercorns, dollops of creme fraiche, chopped parsley and pepitas.
Cabbage Baked in the Embers at Charcoal Venice, Los Angeles
Barbecues typically conjure images of steaks, ribs and chicken. And at this new Venice, Calif., restaurant, named for its primary cooking method, those dishes are available, alongside a burly vegetarian starter cabbage baked inside the embers. Chef Josiah Citrin bakes a whole head of cabbage inside the fiery coals, letting the outside char and the inside soften to a tenderness more like brisket than brassica. Each order yields a quarter of a head topped with chives and served alongside a lemony sumac-spiced yogurt.
Photos courtesy of Rey Lopez, Charcoal Venice, Erin Hartigan