This bowl is inspired by the smoky, meaty flavors of the countryside, of the traditions of the gaucho. It’s an oxymoron with smoky eggplant, meaty mushrooms and a variation on the traditional chimichurri sauce, which you’ll want to scoop onto everything.
Gaucho Grain Bowl [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan:
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 4 (about 8-ounces) portobello mushroom steaks
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into rings, then quartered
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 head of garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2–3 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3–4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 4 cups cooked Emperor’s rice, black rice or wild rice
- Toasted walnuts, chopped
- Fresh herbs such as oregano or basil
- To make the roasted vegetable sheet pan, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Drizzle a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Arrange the vegetables and garlic in an even layer on the pan. Spread the smoked paprika, lemon zest and fresh oregano evenly over the pan.
- Combine the remaining oil and liquid smoke in a small bowl, then pour evenly over the tray. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, to desired crispness. Meanwhile, prepare the chimichurri so the flavors have time to infuse the oil before serving.
- To make the chimichurri, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. The crushed red pepper adds a little heat; if you want less spice, decrease or skip it.
- To serve, combine the rice, roasted veggies and a heaping spoonful (or two!) of chimichurri in a bowl. Sprinkle with the toasted walnuts, garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy!