Friday 1 November 2013

Not Your Mama's Mixed Vegetables

Do you remember frozen mixed vegetables?

My mom served them a lot when we were kids.  I think she liked the colours and, of course, they were convenient.

What I remember most about those mixed vegetables was their singular lack of flavour.  They tasted like...nothing at all.  They were filling, but that's really all that could be said for them.

Funny how things come to mind, isn't it?  

I was surveying the contents of my fridge recently and came across a bowl of leftover cooked carrots. 

There were frozen peas and frozen corn in the freezer.  

And there was a fair bit of month left at the end of the money.  

I could make mixed vegetables.  If I really wanted to.  

But why would I want to?  They're so boring!

Still, I had the ingredients on hand and there must be something a person could do to make mixed vegetables more interesting.

I wondered if I could change them up, into something that actually tasted good.

A few simple steps accomplished my task.  The result was a bright and pretty dish of vegetables with a lot more flavour than the mixed vegetables my mama served.

To make my mixed vegetables, you'll need:

  • 1 cup each diced cooked carrots, thawed frozen corn, thawed baby peas
  • 1 Tbsp. bacon fat (or olive oil, if you prefer)
  • smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper

Mix the diced carrots and corn together.

Melt the bacon fat and drizzle it over the carrots and corn.  Stir and toss the veggies to ensure they're completely coated, then spread them in a single layer on a parchment coated cookie sheet.

Season the veggies to taste with smoked paprika and salt.

Roast the vegetables in a 400F oven stirring now and again until they lose some volume and just begin to take on a little colour.

When the carrots and corn are roasted, leave them in the oven but turn the oven off.  They'll stay warm and continue to cook a bit more in the residual heat.

Heat the peas in a steamer or the microwave until they're cooked through but still have a firm texture.

As soon as the peas are ready, transfer them to a mixing bowl. Take the carrots and corn out of the oven and add them in, stirring the vegetables gently until well mixed.

Taste your mixed vegetables and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

That's it!  So simple, but so good!