Thursday, February 7, 2013
Mardi Gras Veggie Medley
This past weekend we enjoyed having my husband Neil's sister and family come join us for some Mardi Gras revelry. Margo, Lea and Anne arrived Friday and since it was a work day I had decided to put a roast in the slow cooker (10 hours) for the evening meal. (Larry arrived on Saturday but sadly... missed this meal.) Also present to enjoy were daughter Sara and beau Michael. To accompany the roast I needed something 1) colorful, 2) easy and quick and 3) seasonal.
Addressing the colorful, requirement... this recipe celebrates Mardi Gras colors: Purple - Representing Justice, Green - Representing Faith, and
Gold - Representing Power as chosen by the Krewe of Rex (which selected the official Mardi Gras colors in 1872). Interesting to note that Mardi Gras colors influenced the choice of school colors for archrivals Louisiana State University and Tulane University. When LSU was deciding on its colors, the shops in New Orleans had stocked up on purple, green, and gold material for the Mardi Gras season. LSU decided upon purple and gold, and bought much of it. Tulane bought much of the only remaining color--green! (Their colors are blue and green.) http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/mgcolors.html
Considering the easy and quick condition... so I could spend more time with family/guests and not be harried in the kitchen trying to outdo myself (confession), this recipe just fits. You just chop, season, put on a pan, cover with foil, in the oven for 20 minutes, uncover and continue for 10, then it's ready.
The seasonal constraint was met with "what's at the market". I chose purple potatoes, yellow and green peppers, brussel spouts and parsnips.
Simple, simple, simple! I served this Mardi Gras Veggie Medley with the slow cooked roast, a green salad and garlic bread. For dessert we had King Cake... of course.
1 lb purple potatoes, halved
1 lb parsnips, peeled, cut in 2 inch pieces and quartered
1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in strips
1 green bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
Nonstick cooking spray
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
15 sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash vegetables and prepare as above. Spray sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place prepared vegetables on sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle thyme leaves evenly and mix with clean hands.
Cover with foil, place in oven for 20 minutes, uncover and roast for another 10.
Everyone enjoyed this version of roasted vegetables, not only because was it was delicious, but because it was festive and relevant to the occasion.
Fat Tuesday isn't until next week so try your hand at customizing your veggies into a fun and tasty dish.
Happy Mardi Gras