Mixed Vegetable Dishes: Recipes from Simple to Gourmet

There is a quiet 'Vegetable Revolution' taking place among thoughtful cooks
these days! Vegetables are no longer being treated as an afterthought to
the main dish, but as a vital part of the meal - sometimes as the meal itself. Stuffed vegetables, vegetable souffles, vegetable tarts and pies and mixed vegetable dishes like the famous vegetable stew of France, Ratatouille, are appearing more and more on gourmet restaurant menus and are served for family meals and when entertaining.

Greengrocers are adding their support to the new approach by stocking a
wider variety of vegetables, and growers are sending them to the markets
young, firm and dewy. Ideally, greengrocers should rotate their vegetable
produce, and a good one will understand how to handle them and discard any
that are showing signs of age. But of course, not all shops operate under ideal conditions so choose your greengrocer and your vegetables carefully.

Freshly cooked vegetables make a simple but tempting accompaniment if they are lightly cooked and seasoned with salt, freshly ground pepper and butter. At the same time, they blend beautifully with other foods like bacon, cheese, garlic, eggs, sour cream, nuts and herbs, and can be made into gourmet fare served on their own.

The growing interest in vegetable dishes is a step in the right direction for good health. For a dish to be enjoyed, it has to be cooked with care - and care taken with vegetables is rewarded with good results. They not only taste better, but are better for you.

This Hub includes the following recipes:

  • Dew Crisp Vegetables
  • Vegetable Casserole
  • Vegetables a la grecque
  • Succotash
  • Sauerkraut with Apple and Potato
  • Vegetables in Cheese Sauce
  • Mediterranean-style Stuffed Vegetables

Enjoy!

Dew Crisp Vegetables
Dew Crisp Vegetables

Dew Crisp Vegetables

One of the simplest and healthiest ways to cook mixed vegetables, this refreshing and satisfying dish is cooked so as to leave the vegetables tender but crisp. The natural juices of the vegetables seep out during cooking and blend with the other flavors. Green peppercorns give a delicious aromatic taste. Once you learn to cook vegetables this way you will want to try other combinations.

  • 2 medium-sized carrots
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 8 ounces (250 g) green beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 green peppercorns, crushed

Scrape the carrots and peel the parsnip and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) diagonal slices (if large cut through in 3 short finger lengths). Cut celery sticks into quarters or sixths, depending on size. Remove strings from beans, if necessary, and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) lengths. Wash vegetables and shake off excess water. Coat the base of a large heavy saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid with cooking spray. Place vegetables in pan. Add salt, peppercorns and 1 tablespoon water. Cook, covered, over a low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender but still crisp.

Vegetable Casserole - Serves 4 to 6

Anyone can run out of meat - or not have enough for a meal. The answer is not an expensive take-away meal. Often those root vegetables you nearly always have on hand can be put together to make a nutritious, wholesome main dish.

  • 2 carrots
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 turnips or pumpkin
  • 3 medium onions
  • 1/2 head celery
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons butter or polyunsaturated margarine
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 cup grated cheese

Prepare and slice vegetables. Place in large flameproof dish and pour over stock. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, covered, for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Knead the butter or margarine and flour together, add to vegetables to thicken the juices, cooking for 2-3 minutes stirring and folding until vegetables are coated with sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top and place under a hot grill for 10-15 minutes to brown.

Vegetables a la grecque - Serves 6 to 8

Almost any vegetable can be cooked Greek style (in a sauce √° la grecque). Serve chilled as a first course or with crusty French bread as a light luncheon dish.

  • 8 ounces (250 g) zucchini
  • 8 ounces (250 g) button mushrooms
  • 6 spring onions
  • 8 ounces (250 g) green beans
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum)
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Trim zucchini and cut into thick diagonal slices or cut in two lengthwise. Trim mushroom stalks. Trim spring onions, leaving a little of the green. Top and tail beans, cut pepper into thick strips. Place remaining ingredients in a heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and add zucchini, cooking until tender but firm, 8-10 minutes. Remove, using a slotted spoon, and place in a bowl.

Cook remaining vegetables separately, mushrooms 5-8 minutes, onions 8-10 minutes, beans 5 minutes, and pepper 3 minutes - adding each to the bowl with zucchini. When all vegetables are cooked pour cooking liquid over vegetables in bowl. Let mixture cool, then chill. Vegetables should be softened but still crisp.

Succotash - Serves 4

This simple dish was prepared by the North American Indians with beans boiled with pieces of whole ears of corn - sometimes flavored with bear fat. The name is partly derived from the Indian word for ear of corn, misickquatash. This recipe is updated in that frozen and canned vegetables are suggested; green lima beans and corn are so seldom available fresh it seems a pity that this dish should be confined to a short season.

  • 1 ounce (30 g) butter or polyunsaturated margarine
  • 1 packet frozen lima beans
  • 1 can corn niblets, drained
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients and simmer over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 20 minutes. If liked, 4 ounces (125 g) of pickled pork or Speckmay be fried until well browned and added to the beans and corn. It gives an excellent flavor and makes more of a meal.

Sauerkraut with Apple and Potato - Serves 4 to 6

  • 14 ounce (440 g) can sauerkraut
  • 2 large apples
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 cup water or white wine
  • Salt to taste

Rinse sauerkraut in warm water, drain well. Peel and slice apples and onion. Heat oil and sauté apples and onion until soft. Add caraway seeds, sugar and sauerkraut. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Peel and grate potato, add to sauerkraut mixture with water and salt. Simmer until potato is cooked, about 10 minutes. Pour off any excess liquid. Serve with smoked meats or sausages.

Vegetables in Cheese Sauce - Serves 4

Serve as a light meal or with grilled or roast meat. Either fresh or frozen vegetables can be used, just one or several, mixed.

  • 3 cups cooked vegetables
  • 2 ounces (60 g) butter or polyunsaturated margarine
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups skim milk or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Prepared mustard (optional)

Arrange drained vegetables in a buttered ovenproof dish. Melt butter or margarine, blend in flour off the heat, then gradually stir in liquid. Bring to the boil, stirring, and cook gently 3-4 minutes. Add 1 cup grated cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a little prepared mustard if desired. Pour sauce over vegetables, sprinkle with remaining cheese and cook under a hot broiler (griller) or in a hot oven (400 degrees F/200 degrees C) until heated through and golden brown on top.

Mediterranean-style Stuffed Vegetables

This basic stuffing can be used to fill a variety of vegetables. While the instructions given here use a set quantity of stuffing for each vegetable, you can use a few different vegetables and divide the stuffing accordingly. Cook each vegetable type separately for better results. Arrange the stuffed vegetables on a large platter with lemon wedges for sprinkling juice, and serve as a first course. They can be made the day before and kept airtight in the refrigerator. These make a delicious and nutritious meal, and they also lend themselves to entertaining a crowd.

  • 1 cup rice
  • Boiling water
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 14 ounce (440 g) canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground pepper and allspice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill

In a large bowl cover the rice with boiling water and stand until water cools to room temperature. Drain and rinse with cold water, drain again thoroughly. Meanwhile chop onions finely and cook in olive oil with pine nuts and salt until onions are pale golden. Add drained rice and continue to stir until rice is pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, boiling water, currants or raisins, pepper, allspice, sugar, mint and dill. Reduce heat and cook a further 15 minutes until liquid is completely absorbed. Allow to cool completely and use as a stuffing for any of the following, or for a mixture of vegetables.
Stuffed Peppers: Cut tops off 12-15 small peppers, remove seeds. Fill with 1 quantity of stuffing, without packing tightly. Arrange close together in a heavy pan and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour over 1/2 cup boiling water, cover and simmer 25-30 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender. Add more water if necessary to avoid burning. Cool in pan.
Stuffed Tomatoes: Cut tops off 15 large tomatoes, remove pulp with a small spoon (this can be used in place of the tomatoes in the stuffing recipe). Fill tomatoes with stuffing. Arrange tomatoes, if possible on a rack, to fit in a large pan (to avoid them sitting in water while cooking). Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour over 1/2 cup boiling water. Cover and simmer until rice and tomatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary. Cool in pan.
Stuffed Vine Leaves: Use 8 ounces (250 g) vine leaves. One at a time, lay a leaf, shiny side down, on a board and top with a spoon of stuffing. Roll a little, then tuck edges in to seal. Continue rolling, squeeze gently, and arrange each one, flap down, in a heavy pan. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, then pour over juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 cup boiling water to prevent leaves unfolding. Cover with an upturned heatproof plate and simmer until rice and leaves are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan.
Stuffed Zucchini: Top and tail 15-20 zucchini (depending on size). Cut each in half across. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop in zucchini. Boil for 1 minute, drain and refresh under cold water, scoop seeds out of each with a teaspoon to accommodate stuffing. Fill with stuffing and pack tightly in a heavy pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour over 1/2 cup boiling water, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until rice and vegetables are tender.

More by this Author


Comments 3 comments

funride 7 years ago

Great hub with some very nice vegetable recipes, thanks for sharing. I only begin to appreciate vegetables about 10 years ago but now I can live without them, I guess when we are young we do not need them so much...


brennawelker profile image

brennawelker 5 years ago

Vegetable again,!!! Vegetable is very helpful for diet, I really love it.


The Good Cook profile image

The Good Cook 5 years ago Author

So do I. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working