Gluten Free Provencal Summer Vegetable Feast
I was reading the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago and came across a recipe that inspired me to make this gluten free, vegan, summertime Provencal Feast.
What surprises you most about that sentence? The fact that I was reading the Wall Street Journal or that there are recipes in there?
If you are impressed with my perusal of the WSJ, don’t be. We get it free with the delivery of our local paper and I only read the sections that my hubby feels may be of interest to me and lovingly sets aside for me to read. Usually the articles he pulls for me are about food, travel or shoes.
As to recipes, yes, often there are creative, imaginative or classic recipes with lovely photography. After all, even Wall Street moguls need to eat!
Anyway, the recipe was for a classic aioli (garlicky mayonnaise) and to go along with it were recipes for such things as Steamed Mussels with Shallots and Olive oil and Octopus Ragout. Unfortunately, I was fresh out of octopus which was OK, since I really wanted to prepare a feast that celebrated the abundance of beautiful vegetables that are available this time of year.
I planned an entire late summer dinner party (which was to include a vegan guest or two) around this simple idea when it struck me – I can’t serve aioli, it is made with eggs! Definitely not vegan.
Luckily, Vegenaise has made a roasted garlic egg free, vegan mayonnaise – Roasted Garlic Vegenaise Gourmet. Problem solved – dinner party plans back on track!
This is such a lovely way to entertain in the summer. Just set out trays piled with a combination of cooked and raw vegetables and serve the garlicky sauce on the side. It is simple yet gorgeous. The vibrant color and contrasting textures of the vegetables means you need very little in the way of table décor. Maybe a few glasses filled with wild flowers, bottles of wine and pitchers of water filled with lemon slices and a few candles scattered about and you are done! There is something about serving the food for a dinner party family style that lets everyone relax and enjoy themselves much more than artfully arranged individual dinner plates and it also means a lot less work for the host or hostess.
I let my oven do most of the work. The trick is to put things that take longer in first and then add items as you go along; this way, everything is ready at the same time. I roasted most of my veggies but also blanched a few just for varying textures. Another great thing about this kind of food is that it is great hot, lukewarm or cold – perfect for casual summer fun!
You can change up the vegetables to suit your likes and, if you want to include meat eaters in your party, keep it simple by adding a rotisserie chicken from the market. Just make sure your grocery store prepares them gluten free.
Gluten Free Provencal Summer Vegetable Feast
2 cups Roasted Garlic Vegenaise Gourmet
3 globe artichokes
1 pound baby new potatoes
3 medium zucchini
1 pound mini sweet peppers
1 pound green beans
1 pound baby carrots
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Grate the peel of 1 lemon with a microplane grater and squeeze the juice. Combine with the roasted garlic Vegenaise and refrigerate until serving.
Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and squeeze the juice into a large bowl of cold water. Toss in the wedges as well.
Cut the tips and bottom off the artichokes, peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler and cut the sharp points of the leaves off with a pair of scissors. Cut the artichokes in half and remove the thistle from the center with a pairing knife. Cut the halves in half again and put directly into the lemon water to keep from turning brown. Remove the artichokes from the lemon water and place on a large piece of heavy duty foil. Wrap them up, then wrap another piece of foil around them, making sure they are sealed up. Place the foil packet in the oven, directly on the rack. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Scrub the potatoes and place on a baking sheet and add to the oven after the artichokes have been in there for ½ an hour. Bake for 45 minutes.
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then in half again lengthwise. Cut crosswise. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and push them to one side of the baking sheet. Cut the mini peppers in half, remove the seeds and veins, place on the baking sheet with the zucchini; toss with another tablespoon of olive oil and more salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet with the zucchini and peppers in the oven after the artichokes have been in there for an hour. Bake for 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl with cold water and ice. Blanch the beans by placing in the boiling water for about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or sieve and place directly into the ice bath. Do the same with the baby carrots, cooking for about 4 – 5 minutes.
Arrange the vegetables on platters, adding the cauliflower and tomatoes. It looks best when you group the vegetables together by type. Serve with the roasted garlic vegenaise sauce.
This Gluten Free Provencal Summer Vegetable Feast serves 6 – 8
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