I was provided a subscription to Ricardo Magazine for review, but received no other consideration for this post.
The best part of any holiday is sharing food with family and friends. Sometimes, that means making sure that family favourites are on the table (like my mother’s five cup salad). Sometimes, it means experimenting with new dishes that may just become favourites for the next generation. In my house, it always means making sure that everyone has enough food to enjoy, no matter what their dietary restrictions or aversions.
That can get a little tricky these days, with so many folks suffering from allergies, while others follow diets restricted for health reasons or ethical considerations. It’s not impossible, though, and today’s table offers people much better fare than that dished out when I was growing up.
Back then, a vegetarian was lucky if they got a baked potato with some vegetables on the side, unless they brought their own meal. Now, greater awareness ensures that there are staple dishes to satisfy vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free folks, with no one thinking twice about it. Some of them are even favourites for everyone at the table.
When I was asked to review Ricardo Cuisine‘s Easter recipe collection, my thoughts naturally turned to finding ones that would work for my gluten-free and vegan partner. He has celiac disease and has recently begun eating a completely vegan diet, as well. So, finding holiday dishes that satisfy his requirements and are enjoyable for everyone is always a priority.
Right away, I landed on Ricardo’s Roasted Fennel and Fingerling Potatoes recipe. It’s the kind of dish that’s likely to become a yearly tradition, because it’s more interesting than the usual starch and vegetable sides. This roasted vegetable combination relies on the onions and fennel for flavour as well as fibre. So, it makes a good complement to other dishes at Easter dinner, then the leftovers become a great base for more meals. I like to make this sort of recipe in larger quantities than I need, for just that reason.
This dish will satisfy the vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free, but it’s also a nice choice for diabetics, because it combines the starch of potatoes with the fibre of onions and fennel, while avoiding the heaviness of many butter and milk rich potato dishes. And the unrestricted omnivores at the table will be happy it’s so delicious.
Combined with other dishes, like Ricardo’s Asparagus with Lemon Gremolata or a vegan version of his Maple-Braised Endives, you’re well on your way to happy guests. Just add a protein – like a really good slice of lentil loaf – and you’ve got a complete meal for those who aren’t partaking in the Easter ham or roast.
You can find more of Ricardo’s Easter recipes here. You’ll find some to suit any of your Easter guests, from the appetizer course through dessert.
I’ve been a big fan of Ricardo since my Francophone mother introduced me to his French language television program years ago. Though I can follow along with the French instructions reasonably well, I’m happy that he’s expanding his English language presence, too.
Ricardo Cuisine was kind enough to let me reproduce their recipe here. Once you’ve tried it, I predict it’s going to become a staple at your holiday table and perhaps year-round, too.
Roasted Fennel and Fingerling Potatoes
Preparation time: 25 min
Cooking time: 1 h
Output: 6 to 8 servings
- 675 g (1 ½ lb) fingerling or baby potatoes
- 2 bulbs fennel, each cut into 8 wedges
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 3 small onions, cut into 1.5 cm (½-inch) thick slices
- Salt and pepper
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F).
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the potatoes until cooked but still slightly firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a non-stick skillet, brown the fennel in half of the oil (30 ml / 2 tbsp). Set the fennel aside in a baking dish. In the same skillet, brown the onions for about 2 minutes. Add to the fennel with the potatoes and the remaining oil. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the fennel and potatoes are cooked tender. Serve with the Pork Roast with Maple Sauce.