This simple low-fat dish is inspired by the European tradition, and is very popular with vegetarians. You can use whatever vegetables you like or have in the fridge, apart from green vegetables which would lose their nutritional content and colour. For best results, use mostly root vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, celeriac, carrot, and parsnip. You can include squash (zucchini, butternut, etc.), cauliflower and aubergine (eggplant). If you use aubergine, panfry it in a little oil first to keep the colour and the flavour. Whatever vegetables you decide on, make sure to cut them in very thin slices, as this will save on cooking time and will make the finished dish more appetising to the eye. A mandolin will make the preparation easier.
Use a selection of root and other vegetables (I have used cauliflower, carrot, sweet potato, parsnip and zucchini). Slice 1 white onion, and chop a handful of parsley
Thin slices… (I used a knife, but a mandolin is easier)
Arrange the vegetable slices in an ovenproof dish
Make a white sauce using 4 tablespoons half fat creme fraiche, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 pint vegetable stock and 3 bay leaves
First melt the butter on a low heat, add the flour then gradually add the stock and bay leaves, add the creme fraiche and season
Whisk until smooth, pour the sauce over the vegetables and finish with the chopped parsley
Cover with foil and bake at 180c for 30 minutes. Remove foil and grill for a further 10 minutes until golden brown
Enjoy either alone or as a vegetable side dish.
© Ajith Perera. All rights reserved.