At most American dinner tables—in theory, at least—the rule is, “No dessert until you’ve eaten your vegetables.”
In reality, of course, this doesn’t always happen. Many busy cooks struggle to include any veggies at all with the meal. In other families, getting the kids to eat anything green is just too much hassle after a long day at work. Some families—Can you imagine it?—don’t routinely include dessert after a meal at all.
Here is one solution we found: vegetables masquerading as dessert. Sure, we’ve known about carrot cake and zucchini bread for years, and we’ve even made chocolate cake with beets. But caramelized sunchoke mousse with sunchoke sorbet, chestnut, egg yolk, black trumpet mushrooms and cocoa-coffee-truffle “dirt”?? Or the eggplant and chocolate combo created by Brooks Headley, pastry chef at Manhattan restaurant Del Post? Says Headley, “Eggplant and chocolate is a classic Neapolitan dessert that’s existed for hundreds of years on the Amalfi coast.” If you say so.
We’ll probably stick with our carrot cake for now. But if we’re ever craving eggplant and chocolate, we’ll know where to get it.