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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Medley With Pesto Dressing

This is a very simple and really delicious vegetarian dish. The vegetables in the pan are clockwise: Porcini Mushroom/Zucchinni/Corn/Fennel Bulb/Boiler Onions/Elephant Garlic/Scallion and finally vine tomatoes stuffed with a mixture of rice pilaff , garlic and spinach.
Here is how you do it. Buy these or your favorite vegetables. Remember you don't have to buy expensive items like porcini mushrooms. You can buy root vegetables like parsnips, turnips and the like. Butternut squash is also a good choice. Whatever you buy it needs to be able to stand up to roasting.
You peel these vegetables and cut them into the size you want and then you blanche them. Blanching means that you boil some water and add a little salt. You then plunge your vegetables into this boiling water for a minute or so and then you plunge them into cold water, preferably with a little ice. This will maintain the color of the vegetable. Then you drain the vegetables.When you have done all this you put a heavy bottomed pan on the burner and preheat it. Add a little olive oil and then add your vegetables accompanied by some sprigs of thyme or rosemary. At this point you season the vegetables with salt and pepper, preferably from a peppermill. I like things very spicy so I will add a jalapeno pepper. Add some whole cloves of garlic and put the whole thing into a hot oven and roast. Remove when cooked.
For the dressing: mix a little chopped garlic, chopped onion with equal measure of red wine or balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Then add some chopped basil. Mix well and correct the seasoning.
Note: The onions need to be preroasted so blanche them and roast them in a small pan before you start the other vegetables. They are roasted in the same way as the other vegetables.
When they are all cooked arrange them on a plate and spoon a little dressing over them.
Don't be a slave to recipes. If you don't have basil use anything you have, like mint or parsley or cilantro. If you don't have olive oil use regular vegetable oil.
This is my fourth straight vegetarian day. It is a very challenging cuisine but a very good one. I will get to the other recipes as soon as I get time. Meantime if you have any questions post them or send me an email. Remember cooking is an adventure.


Aunt Kirstie said...

Oh that looks good. I wish you could come cook my dinner every night! I know that I could make all this stuff too but I just don't seem to make enough time for it!

Evelyn said...

Hi Jim,
Thanks for including the recipe, but I feel guilty for asking you to do it. If you are as slow at typing as I am it must have taken you ages. Just a list of the ingredients, and a short version of the method will do for me. I will make that for my vegetarian daughter-in-law.
Happy Christmas to everyone, those I know and those I am getting to know.

James Walsh said...

I am glad you like the food Evelyn. I particularly liked the cannelloni and I will try to get the recipe done tonight for you and whoever else would like it.
Typing is not the problem. I do 40 words a minute. My brain was not designed for recipes. Most chefs are like that. However don't feel guilty about asking. It will be a pleasure and I hope I can get back to most of them anyway and explain them. Let me know how the dish turns out for you. I think I am turning into a bit of a vegetarian myself. Except for one dish I think I have eaten only vegetarian dishes in the past week. There will be lamb for Christmas however.
Or will there? I may just do a vegetarian Christmas dinner. Stay tuned.

James Walsh said...

Thank you Aunt Kirstie for your nice comment.

Therese said...

Show off Evelyn, you know I need a personal demo never mind a word after word explanation