Monday, August 11, 2008

Gluten-Free Recipes : Garden-to-Plate #1

I absolutely love this time of year! Our gluten-free garden is reaching full production mode now, and I can enjoy the fruits (or, veggies) of our labor in the form of some tasty and simple-to-make gluten-free recipes. Yes, even though gluten-free desserts are my forte', I enjoy eating the healthy and flavorful vegetable dishes just as much - especially when the entire dish can be prepared using only homegrown fresh produce.

This is a very simple gluten-free recipe that makes use of various items from the garden, and can be made in only a few minutes time.

The recipe components:
  • Zucchini
  • White Squash
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Basil (we used a couple varieties)
  • Olive Oil -- OK, I admit it... we didn't grow olives and press our own oil :)
The key to getting this recipe to produce a spectacular taste is caramelization (i.e., the oxidation of sugars in order to extract a sweet and nutty, browned-sugar accent). You are going to want to fully utilize these naturally occurring sugars in the onions, garlic, and vegetables to your advantage, and the best way to do that is to caramelize the onions/garlic in a fry pan (I love cast-iron fry pans) with a bit of olive oil.

This requires cooking at a fairly high temperature. And, depending on your particular method for caramelizing, you may also want to add a bit of water throughout the process to help spread the resulting browned sugars around and form a bit of a sauce (water addition requirement will depend mainly on whether the items you are carmelizing contain enough naturally-occuring water of their own or not).

Basically, that's all there is to it. You essentially stir-fry the remaining vegetables into the mix, and I suggest adding the herbs (basil) last since they cook quite quickly. In fact, the order you combine the veggies is totally in your hands, since you may prefer a bit crisper onions than squash, or vice-versa. I personally like my vegetables to remain ever so slightly firm throughout (I don't like them turning to mush certainly), as I find the texture and flavor the best at this point.

In the end, you should be able to just dump those fried vegetables out onto a place and enjoy your latest gluten-free recipe from the garden in a flash! Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan,... plus, healthy and delicious!

Serve it up and enjoy!


Talia said...

That looks so delicious. I appreciate that it is not only gluten-free but also completely allergy free. Cooking with fresh fruits and veggies certainly make living gluten-free (and allergen free) much easier.

Anonymous said...

Great summer lunch or dinner when you put these yummy veggies over brown rice - really fills you up.

Lynn Barry said...

Oh Mike, this look delicious. I will give it a try. THANKS!

Lynn said...

I am a big fan of veggies and this is one of my favorite combinations. However, I would probably substitute oregano for the basil.