Tonawanda News

August 11, 2013

SIMPLY GLUTEN-FREE: Entertain your guests with a summer vegetable feas

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — This is such a lovely way to entertain in the summer. Just set out trays piled with a combination of cooked and raw vegetables and serve the garlicky sauce on the side. It is simple, yet gorgeous.

The vibrant color and contrasting textures of the vegetables means you need very little in the way of table décor. Maybe a few glasses filled with wild flowers, bottles of wine and pitchers of water filled with lemon slices and a few candles scattered about and you are done! 

I let my oven do most of the work for this meal. The trick is to put foods that take longer in first and then add items as you go along, this way everything is ready at the same time. I roasted most of my veggies but also blanched a few just for varying textures. Another great thing about this kind of food is that it is great hot, lukewarm or cold — perfect for casual summer fun!

Roasted vegetable feast

2 cups roasted garlic veganaise

2 lemons 

3 globe artichokes 

1 pound baby new potatoes 

3 medium zucchini 

1 pound mini sweet peppers 

1 pound green beans 

1 pound baby carrots 

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets 

1 pint cherry tomatoes 

Olive oil 

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Grate the peel of 1 lemon with a microplane grater and squeeze the juice. 

Combine with the roasted garlic Vegenaise and refrigerate until serving. 

Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and squeeze the juice into a large bowl of cold water, toss in the wedges as well. 

Cut the tips and bottom off the artichokes, peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler and cut the sharp points of the leaves off with a pair of scissors. Cut the artichokes in half and remove the thistle from the center with a pairing knife. 

Cut the halves in half again and put directly into the lemon water to keep from turning brown. Remove the artichokes from the lemon water and place on a large piece of heavy duty foil. Wrap them up then wrap another piece of foil around them to make sure they are sealed up. Place the foil packet in the oven directly on the rack. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Scrub the potatoes and place on a baking sheet and add to the oven after the artichokes have been in there for ½ an hour. Bake for 45 minutes.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then in half again lengthwise. Cut crosswise. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and push them to one side of the baking sheet. Cut the mini peppers in half and remove the seeds and veins. 

Place on the baking sheet with the zucchini and toss with another tablespoon of olive oil and more salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet with the zucchini and peppers in the oven after the artichokes have been in there for an hour. 

Bake for 15 minutes. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl with cold water and ice. Blanche the beans by placing in the boiling water for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon or sieve and place directly into the ice bath. Do the same with the baby carrots, cooking for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Arrange the vegetables on platters adding the raw cauliflower and tomatoes. It looks best when you group the vegetables together by type. Serve with the roasted garlic vegenaise sauce.

Carol Kicinski is a gluten-free cook, magazine editor and blog writer. Find more of her recipes at www.simplygluten-free.com.