Today's menus take in a much larger territory and typically try and serve everything from one type of cuisine, unless it's a buffet or a multi-cuisine banquet. So it's far more done to find a meal of Chinese, Thai or regional Indian cuisines at dinner parties, and baked vegetables, if served are in a context of similar dishes. In fact it's quite rare to find baked vegetables on any menu because they are passe. But done well, they can be delicious and interesting.
At the vegetable market over the weekend I found onion flowers and leeks which were reasonably priced, as well as Brussels sprouts which I love served baked with cheese. So last night when we had guests over for dinner, I thought it might be fun to try a combination of all three vegetables in a baked dish. The mixture turned out really well, though if I made it again I'd increase the quantity of Brussels sprouts, as otherwise they can tend to get lost in the mix. The sweet, meltingly soft roast onions are a wonderful contrast to the slight bitterness and chewiness of Brussels sprouts. This is definitely something to try again.
1 pound onion flowers, cut into inch-long sticks
1 pound Brussels sprouts (I used about 100 gms yesterday and found it less than I wanted), cut into half cm rounds
500 gms leeks, cut into 1 cm thick rounds
1 tsp vegetable oil
200 gms light cream
½ cup milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Mix the milk, cheese, cream, salt and pepper well. Roast the onion flowers in 1 tsp vegetable oil until wilted and soft but still vibrant green. Layer an oven-proof dish with the onion flowers, followed with the Brussels sprouts and then the leeks. Pour over a quarter of the cream-cheese mixture. Continue layering until all the vegetables are used up and end with a top layer of the cheese-milk-cream mixture.
Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, checking from time to time, until the top layer is lightly browned. Serve hot