French Inspired-Forager's Roasted Vegetables

Sunday, June 4, 2017

It's always my goal to help people realize that being meat free isn't hard or complicated or boring, and that you can make all of your favorite foods vegan, and not have to sacrifice anything.

French cooking has always been on my favorites, and quite a challenge.  It's also one of the big ones that people think are impossible to veganize.  Well mon cheri, I'm here to tell you that that couldn't be further from the truth!

I'm going to be working on more vegan French recipes, and this one isn't exactly French but is definitely French inspired with butter, herbs and wine sauce and gravy.  It reminds me a lot of coq au vin but without the chicken.  My sister used to make roasted chicken when I lived with her, and it was always one of my favorite things.  Glistening vegetables slathered in gravy? Life sincerely does not get any better. So this dish is inspired by her as well.

Keep in mind this is a roast, so it will be HOT in the kitchen and kind of rough going in the summer.  But I love roasted vegetables of any kind in any season, so I'm willing to deal with it.  It's also SUPER easy and requires little intervention while roasting, so you can sit in front of the fan for a while.  Basically all you need to do is cut up a bunch of veggies, toss em in a roasting pan, throw in some herbs and top with butter and red wine and that's it.  So go have at it folks, you don't need me at all!  (Just kidding, here's a recipe).

4-5 carrots roughly cut up in large pieces
a bunch of mini red potatoes, halved
8 oz cremini mushrooms, halved
1 portobello mushroom cap, sliced
3 large raddishes, sliced
2 lemons, wedged
4 garlic cloves, cut in half (maybe more, depending on how much you like garlic)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs Earth Balance vegan butter
1 cup red wine

2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbs Earth Balance
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to about 375 degrees.   Toss in all your chopped veggies and the garlic halves. Lay the wedged lemons on top throughout, and sprinkle on your chopped rosemary and thyme.  Divide up the butter and place evenly around the dish on top.  Pour in your red wine and top with salt and pepper.
Throw this in the oven until the potatoes and carrots have cooked through. I tend to prefer my carrots a little firmer than fully cooked, but I'm nuts.

When the roasted vegetables are done, pull them out of the oven and place on top of the stove to keep warm.  In a pan, melt 1 tbs of butter and toss in your shallot and garlic.  When the shallots are transparent, throw in the fennel and rosemary and quickly toss to let the flavors mingle.  Pour in the broth and simmer.  Whisk in flour, pinch by pinch, until the gravy thickens.  Be patient with this.  My biggest hurdle in gravy making was learning patience in mixing n the flour and not going to fast and clumping it.

Service the gravy on top of the vegetables and you'll have a surprisingly light springtime dinner, that doesn't skimp on flavor.  This dish smells INCREDIBLE the whole way through and I loved that it lingered in the house.

Enjoy, and as always don't be afraid to experiment.

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