Welcome to Vegetarian’s paradise ! Read on.. as you are about to fall in love with this recipe.This is loaded with so many vegetables in a pot that you will be more than happy to serve this to your family and it looks so irresistible that the family would love to get their grabs. Three Cheers to the Spring Skillet 🙂
I know the Spring is long gone and the Autumn has just hit the Canadian roads so maybe the name sounds a bit delusional to you but in my opinion, you can always bring the Spring back into your kitchen with this recipe.
The idea for this recipe started broiling in my head today morning when i reached the fresh farmer’s market to steal some gorgeous fresh vegetables for my kitchen. The market was full of fresh stocks of bell peppers and onions. As i walked around the market with my grocery bags in my hand, i could not stop myself from buying various kinds of vegetables for my weekly stock. In fact i think i ended up buying much more than my usual quota as i clearly remember the heavy weight of the bags (my hands are still hurting :P) but it was totally worth it !
I wanted to make something with loads of vegetables but wanted to keep it light and simple. The initial idea was to maybe make something Indian, say like the famous Mumbai Pav Bhaji (recipe here) or repeat the hearty asian style soupy noodles (recipe here . The most interesting thing happened next. My husband had this sudden craving for french fries. Since i was not interested in frying, i decided to make some roasted potatoes instead.
What started with a simple roasting of potatoes, got interesting on the way and i happen to create my version of a healthy, wholesome, heart warming plate of vegetable skillet. With colors so pretty and painting a picture of spring in my head, i decided to call this dish “SPRING SKILLET”
This recipe is divided into 3 components :-
- Vegetable Stir fry
- Roasted potatoes
- Bechamel Sauce
Stir fried Vegetables
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp grounded black pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower florets, parboiled in hot water for 5 minutes
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut into big chunks and par boiled
- 1 cup bell peppers (green, yellow, orange and red) – cut into big chunks
- 1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 medium sized onion, cut into big chunks
- 2 spring onions, cut into big chunks
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 medium sized tomato,cut into big chunks
- 2 large sized potatoes (russet potatoes preferred), cut into wedges
- 1 tsp oil
- pinch of grounded black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika powder
- 20 gms butter
- 2 tablespoons All purpose flour
- 1.5 cups of milk
- 100 gms of Parmesan/ Cheddar Cheese, grated (divide into 2 parts)
- Salt to taste
- pinch of nutmeg powder (freshly grounded preferred)
We would start with preparing the Roasted Potatoes.
Preparing Roasted Potatoes
- Preheat the oven at 400F. Take a big bowl. Add in the oil, salt, pepper and paprika powder. Add in the potato wedges to the bowl and give it a good shake till all the spices and oil are coated on the wedges.
- Spread the wedges on a pre-greased baking tray and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or till the potato wedges are light golden. Remove from the tray and keep aside.
Next we prepare the Bechamel Sauce
- For this, take a saucepan. To this, add in butter and let it melt. Now, add in the flour and cook on medium flame till it is slightly golden in color.
- Now, add in the milk, half the portion of cheese, salt and nutmeg and stir till the cheese melts.The rest half of the cheese will be used on top of the vegetables for baking.
- Let the sauce cook on medium high till the sauce starts to boil and then simmer it for 5 minutes. Shut the flame and keep aside.
Preparing Stir Fried Vegetables
- Take a saute pan. To this, add in the oil and the garlic.
- Next, add in the onion, green onion, bell peppers and mushrooms. Let it saute on high flame for about 5 minutes till the onions are transparent.
- Next, add in the rest of the vegetables and add in the salt and grounded black pepper and mix well. Simmer the flame and let the vegetables cook for about 5 for minutes. The vegetables are ready for the next step. If there is any liquid in the vegetables, cook on high flame and evaporate the extra liquid.
Now we shall combine all the 3 components and put together in a dish to complete the Spring Skillet.
- For that, we will begin with preheating the oven at 400F.
- Take a oven proof baking dish and grease it . Begin with putting all the stir fried vegetables in the baking dish. Next, arrange the roasted potatoes on top of the stir fried vegetables. Next, pour in the bechamel sauce on top of it.
- To finish, add in the grated cheese on top of it and melt it in the oven for 10-12 minutes till the cheese is well melted and forms a slight golden brown crust. The Spring Skillet is ready.
The dish came out better than i had expected ! The beautiful vegetable color palate made everyone drool in anticipation. For once, the pick eaters forgot that this was indeed a vegetable dish and they all grabbed big portions at once! The taste was subtle and gave a great lift to showcase the true flavours of the gorgeous fresh vegetables. I kept the serving simple and served it with home made, fresh, right out of the oven Golden Onion bread (recipe here). Try this recipe once and you will be captured by its beauty instantly…. and don’t blame me if u fall in love with it… because more than likely, u will !
Feel free to add in more vegetables to this selection and make your own version of a Spring Skillet. You can also make one with just the orange, red, yellow bell peppers and onions and potatoes for an Autumn Skillet.