Preparing the Mix Veg Dish
This started off as a way to use up bits and pieces from the fridge. It has now become a family favourite and the magic is quite simple. The amazing flavour and satisfying nature of this mix veg dish is down to 2 things. The base notes of onion, garlic and seasoning peppers and then the ka-pow of all the lovely vegetables mingling together. You could make this with just about any mix of veg. The only thing I would say is aim for a mix of colours and include at least 1 starchy veg like sweet potato or breadfruit.
Can you believe the sheer beauty of the sweet potato below? Classic case of hidden beauty. The outside is a drab beige with no clues to let you know of the bejewelled nature of the interior. It tastes the same as those we buy in the UK but is slightly firmer.
Best Mix Veg Recipe – Serves 5 or 6
1 medium onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 seasoning peppers finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper roughly chopped
1 christophene skin and seed removed and cut into small dice
10 to 15 okra cut into small rings
1 medium sweet potato or piece of breadfruit diced
salt to taste
Soften the onion, garlic and seasoning peppers in the olive oil and add the sweet potato and christophene first as they take the longest to cook. End with the pumpkin and okra….Cook using a gently heat, with a lid on, until the veg are cooked al dente. I often serve this as a bed upon which a piece of fish or chicken can sit with pride.
Chilli Peppers – Habanero
These peppers are a type of chilli called a “Habanero.” They range from a gentle heat which nicely imparts a pepper taste to your food, to a burn which will set your mouth on fire. Mine are the former and we refer to them in The Caribbean as “seasoning peppers.” My cousin Katherine’s husband Brian grows these successfully in his green house in Kent. The funny thing is that he started off with 3 acres of land which he grew all manner of produce on when he first retired, but poor Katherine had to somehow deal with the harvest which could be both problematic and time consuming as his efforts were prolific. They have moved and he chose to only grow Habaneros in his greenhouse. That should tell you how seriously we take our seasoning peppers in Caribbean cooking.