Roasted Madras Spring Vegetables with Saffron Rice Pilaf

This delectable bowl of goodness was my first attempt at a 5-star recipe. I received Eric Tucker’s Millennium Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine as a gift, and couldn’t wait to test my cooking skills. After two cover-to-cover in-depth study sessions, I settled on the Roasted Madras Spring Vegetables with Saffron Rice Pilaf and Peach-Lime Chutney. Easily the longest recipe title that I have ever attempted, with the bonus of making me feel like Julia Child when I said it! My expectations were quite low that I could actually pull it off, I was so intimidated. But I shouldn’t have worried, as the book is so well written anybody could be the Frugal Gourmet! The book also includes the suggested serving size and associated nutritional information, which I find helpful sometimes when eyeing the pot on the stove. Millennium Restaurant is now on my ‘must visit’ list so I can eat Eric’s five star vegan delicacies. What more of an excuse does one need to travel to San Francisco?

 

I don’t like re-publishing recipes on my blog without the author permission, so I apologize for making you work for it. The recipe can be found on page 118-120 of Millennium Cookbook, which I can see on the Google Book Preview if I scroll ~2/3 down. Or of course you can get it from your local library – you won’t be disappointed!

 

Of course, I made some modifications to the recipe. I had excess vegetables and no tempeh, so I marinated the vegetables in all of the Madras marinade then baked them at 400 dF for ~40min. They turned out beautifully! As always, the eggplant gave a nice meaty texture to the dish while soaking up the wonderful marinade. The asparagus came out slightly crispy and not stringy at all – a definite win. And the zucchini added some moisture to the marinade as it cooked, which serves the dish well when reheating! This was my first time making any sort of pilaf or risotto, and I was successful. Maybe not quite ready for Top Chef yet, but mastering a five star recipe and risotto must make me one step closer … The saffron made the rice very pretty, and added a little extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the dish. The peach chutney that went on top was a qualified success; by itself the favour combination seemed to me to be a bit off, but then again I’ve never been a big fan of fruit in savory dishes (hello, pineapple on pizza). But when paired with the dish it worked wonderfully. Next time I think I will either omit the chutney or mix it straight into the dish when serving. But overall, the roasted vegetables were wonderful with the saffron rice, and the dish looked as fancy as its name! Make this dish and you will be amazed at your culinary skills hidden within you. Guaranteed.

 

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