Monday, 4 March 2013

Seasonal - shmeasonal!

Now that I am a temporary vegetarian, I turned to some vegetarian magazines for inspiration. Vegetarian Living made it to my kitchen table last weekend.

It is everything you imagine an aspirational publication to be: full of grow your own-save the planet-cook you way out of depression kinda thing.

It kicks off with a 'hot' topic of which veg is better - supermarket bought or the stuff from the veg box schemes. I don't need to tell you what the consensus of the readers had been.

Anyway, made me think how magazines and food box distributers like to bang on about seasonality a lot. (And non-vegie food mags are as guilty in this as Vegetarian Living). Yet even in their 'in season' sections they give recipes where one of the ingredients is in season, while all others are way out.

The April issue of Vegetarian living features recipes with the following main ingredients: tomatoes, courgettes, strawberries, sweet pepper, aubergines, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, asparagus. To name but a few.

Now, where are all of them coming from this time of year? Not from your locally grown veg box scheme - that's for sure!

But I guess being a vegetarian and eating only the seasonal stuff would be difficult. There are only that many dishes one can cook with parsnips, beetroots, potatoes, last season's apples, curly kale and sprouts.

Even non-vegetarians are limited, let alone if veg is your prime source of calories.

Anyway, outraged I may sound, but I am no better. When it came to cooking a veggie meal off the cuff, the only thing I could think of was a Mediterranean Roast Veg. Full of out of season courgettes, red peppers, aubergines...

And delicious it was too!

Mediterranean Roast Veg

Feeds 4

The Ingredients: 

2 small to medium courgettes - sliced into 1cm circled
1 medium aubergine - cut into chunks
1 medium red onion - cut into chunks
1 sweet red/orange or yellow pepper - cut into chunks
10-20 cherry tomatoes
8-10 cloves of garlic with skins still on
3-4 tbsp of olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g tin of chopped toms

The Method: 

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan) - 200C (electric).

Mix all the ingredients except chopped toms with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Spread them in two baking trays and roast for 30-40 min turning occasionally.

While the veg are roasting, cook down the chopped toms with a bit of olive oil.

When the veg are ready, find all the garlic and remove the skins. Mix with the cooked down tinned toms. Serve with pasta and Parmesan/veg Parmesan-style cheese.

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