The heat of summer has left me with little appetite for heavy food. I decided to return to a mostly vegetable diet for a few weeks and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m channeling my heritage with these ‘recipes’ that are not terribly precise, so please forgive me!
I nearly always have carrots in the fridge, and in late summer zucchini as well. One evening I decided to make gluten free chicken schnitzel and was searching my mental recipe file for a simple vegetable to have with it. I came up with the idea of using my mandolin to cut fat sticks of zucchini, and small sticks of carrot and sauté them in a little ghee, with some fresh thyme, salt and pepper. So, no recipe really, just an idea and method. You need to cut the carrot pieces about a quarter of the thickness of the zucchini pieces so that they both are finished cooking at the same time. It was a great success, much more flavourful than you would think, and I’ve repeated it several times since.
Another recent vegetable discovery was a cauliflower recipe. I really only used the idea from the original I saw online because I changed the method and ingredients sufficiently that they are significantly different.
1 small head cauliflower
1-2 eggs (I used only one large egg)
1/4 C gluten free bread crumbs (but regular ones would work, I’m sure)
1 tsp dried oregano
dash of garlic powder (or omit)
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 C shredded tasty cheese
3/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 200C (400 F)
Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper
Cut the florets off the main cauliflower stem. Don’t use the large stem as it develops a strong taste. Steam or microwave them until they are fork tender. Drain. Using a potato masher, or a fork, mash the cauliflower but don’t make it into mush. Line a colander with paper towels and place the mash in it, cover with more towelling and squeeze out excess moisture.
Place into large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix together thoroughly. If it seems dry add the second egg, if it seems wet, add a few more crumbs. The mixture should hold when pressed together but not be soggy.
Shape the mixture into tablespoon sized balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for around 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven and how brown you like them.
Serve as they are for a side vegetable, or as a snack with ketchup or marinara sauce. I also found them delicious, reheated on both sides for breakfast, alongside other veggies or eggs.
Finally, here is a Nigella idea that I’m pretty sure she stole from my Grandma…
Roasted Potatoes with Peppers
Roasting potatoes, jar of roasted peppers, olive oil, salt
Preheat oven to 185C (360F)
Peel and dice potatoes to a smaller than normal dice, about 15mm (3/4″)
Toss potato pieces with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. (I’m lazy so I use non-stick paper on my baking sheet)
Meanwhile chop some roasted peppers from a jar (this is easy summer cooking, people, and besides if you can find these little pepperdew or pepperocini roasted peppers that have a mild heat to them, they are delicious)
Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven, salt and add roasted pepper pieces
I realise these are loose interpretations of recipes, so if you have questions, fire away!