A comment a while ago made me think of all the fun foods served to the creatures of Redwall Abbey in Brian Jacques' Mossflower and Redwall series. In looking through his little vegetarian cookbook published for young fans of the Redwall series, I found a nice casserole worthy of a chilly day. I must admit, this little book is a masterful bit of marketing and it sends a good message to kids about enjoying their vegetables! The original recipe serves 6, but I halved it for Silent Bob and I. We're having it as a side dish with some schnitzel this evening ... whatever is for dinner at your house, I hope you're eating your vegetables!
'Friar Hugo and Pansy Create a Banquet'
cover art by illustrator Christopher Denise
It all starts with peeling and dicing ...
taken from The Redwall Cookbook
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. vegetable broth
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper, to taste
2 c. cauliflower florets, cooked al dente
4 medium carrots, peeled, sliced and cooked
2 c. peas, cooked
4 tomatoes, seeded and sliced
2 c. Cheddar cheese, grated
Lining up the veggies to parboil them to an al dente bite ... but not the tomatoes!
Making the Dish:
Place a large saucepan of salted water on to boil. Cook the carrots, drain using a slotted spoon and set aside, cook the cauliflower in the same water, drain and set aside, cook the peas last, drain and set aside. I undercooked my veg because I like them with a bit of bite; you can do whatever you like!
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the flour, stirring until it bubbles up. Take care not to brown it.
2. Add the vegetable broth and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, then add the heavy cream.
3. Continue stirring to incorporate the cream and when it begins to bubble, remove from the heat.
4. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and add just a bit of the hot sauce while continuing to beat. Then, pour the egg yolks into the sauce and beat briskly to mix the sauce.
5. Return the sauce to a very low heat and let it warm the eggs thoroughly, but don't boil it.
6. When the sauce begins to 'steam', remove from the heat to cool a bit. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan and lay the cauliflower into the bottom, then the carrots and peas.
Cooked veggies get layered ... and picked at just a bit
8. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, lay the tomato slices on and then sprinkle on the grated cheese.
Pretty colors ...
9. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes in a 400 degree F. oven and then turn on the broiler to brown and crisp the top layer of cheese. Watch carefully ... just golden brown!
Perfectly done ... just golden
10. Serve piping hot from the oven.
Creamy and perfectly done ... and good for you!