[amazon_link asins=’B001KUWGDS,B0725CHQLJ,B006QYNLKU,B01MZ1FZ2E’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’queensnotcom-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’cdb037a0-674d-11e7-be10-7dfa75e54d38′] If the Pope came to my home for a visit, I would invite him to dinner and this Vegetables in Parchment Paper will be one of the entrees. It would be a simple meal, but hearty, healthy and made with love. The first thing I would do is compile a short guest list consisting of my immediate family, plan who will be seated where and with whom. And then I’d decide what to serve, what will the table look like, what should we talk about. I would be so excited.
Just like many here in America, I was mesmerized by Pope Francis’ magnetism and charisma as he visited three major cities: Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia this week. One of the Pope’s important stops was having lunch with the homeless in Washington D.C. The televised visit had a simple menu of a salad, vegetables and chicken. That vision made me imagine what I’d prepare if the Pope came to my home for dinner.
I’d take the cue from that simple lunch and the Pope’s endearing traits of frugality and his desire to pare down to basic necessities. It brought to mind how I often cooked vegetables as a side or an entree — steamed in parchment paper.
Cooking vegetables wrapped in parchment paper magically transforms the dish from simple to splendid. Parchment seals in the natural flavors. This is what happened when I cooked these summer vegetables the week fall was about to begin. All I did was slice, season, wrap and bake. Before I knew it, the oven timer buzzed loudly to announce dinner was cooked.
I untied the butcher twine and unwrapped the parchment parcel at the table. The steam from within swiftly escaped and floated upward. The earthy aroma of vegetables spread all around and made us anticipate dinner even more. The vegetable slices were tender, moist and savory. The vegetables looked like a marvelous bouquet inside the parchment pocket. If the Pope came to dinner the beauty in the vegetables’ simplicity would have made him smile and say this was just what the family needed.
Vegetables in Parchment Paper
- 1 whole yellow squash peeled and sliced, about 2 cups
- 1 whole large Asian eggplant sliced; or about 1 cup if using aubergines
- 1 cup sliced green beans, cut in 2-inch pieces edges trimmed
- 1 whole medium-sized onion sliced
- 1 whole medium-sized red bell pepper sliced, seeded
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon xiao xing rice wine
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- 1 whole large piece parchment paper, to wrap vegetables about 12 inches x 12 inches (or cut larger if needed)
- butcher's twine to tie parchment parcel ; about 2 to 3 feet
- for serving: steamed rice
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large, shallow baking tray place the sheet of parchment paper. Arrange the vegetables in layers, piled on top of each other : squash, eggplant, green beans, onion, red peppers. Sprinkle the vegetable oil, rice wine, salt and black pepper powder. Garnish with fresh parsley.
- Wrap the vegetables in the parchment like a parcel, making sure to fold tightly the edges inwards. Tie with butcher twine all around. Parcel should be tightly folded on the edges so the steam or liquid does not escape while cooking.
- Bake the parchment parcel of vegetables in the preheated oven of 400 F for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Place warm parcel on a platter and serve. Cut the twine and unwrap the parcel at table side. Be careful of the hot steam as you open the parcel. Serve with rice if desired.
- Cook's comments: in some countries parchment paper is also known as baking paper.
- Ingredient tip: this is a forgiving recipe. Use vegetables in season, other leafy greens, tubers, beans, peppers or whatever you prefer. Add other seasonings desired like soy sauce, sriracha, fish sauce -- but use small amounts of liquid like a tablespoon each.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]