Despite being vegan, I still look to non-vegan sources for food inspiration. I was watching an episode of “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain in which he visited Provence, and was intrigued by the food. There was one scene where Anthony Bourdain has dinner with a Provencal family on their estate. The meal was very simple and rustic, which I love, and consisted of roasted vegetables, aioli, crusty bread and olives. Sometimes, myself included, we get so caught up in trying to create elaborate meals, that we forget how delicious simple food tastes. Inspired by the meal, I decided to recreate it and it’s become one of my favorite meals. It’s so simple and so comforting.
I’m sure this meal tastes better in Provence, but it’s incredibly easy to recreate a similar version at home. The first time I tried it, I did create an aioli by crushing garlic using a mortar and pestle and sea salt, and adding Vegenaise. It’s certainly not authentic, but it’s a good substitute. For the meal in the above picture, I made a Dijon dipping sauce by combining Dijon mustard and Vegenaise. I also served my roasted vegetables with a simple salad consisting of baby arugula tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. Good, crusty bread and olives rounded out the meal.
As for the vegetables, I chose Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts, but the first time I made it, I used fennel instead of the Brussels sprouts. To roast them, first preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If your potatoes are small enough, leave them whole and make sure your carrots and other vegetables are similar in size. Otherwise, slice your potatoes accordingly. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, and sprinkle generously with Herbs de Provence, and sea salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized.