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OLIMAR - Roasted Vegetable Medley with Pink Peppercorn Glaze

Updated: Jul 19, 2021


Complexity: ★☆☆☆☆


Time for a recipe inspired by one of my all-time favourite Nintendo franchises: Pikmin! I wanted to make this dish a love letter to this wonderfully whimsical series. I knew a dish inspired by the naturalistic world of the Pikmin series would have to be earthy and rustic - and given the game's emphasis on plant life, I decided to focus primarily on vegetables as the star of this dish! The result is an assortment of roasted vegetables - this would be a great side dish for any Sunday dinner! It definitely feels like something that the caring father and family man Olimar would enjoy on his days off work (and his gluttonous protégé Louie would almost certainly devour the whole plate!)



Some Pikpik carrots. (image credit: pikmin.fandom.com)

I started with carrots - according to the in-game lore, upon discovering the peculiar plant creatures, Captain Olimar decided to name them "Pikmin" because they resembled "Pikpik carrots," one of his favourite foods from his home planet Hocotate. I decided to use some beautifully colorful heirloom carrots to represent the myriad of colors found among the pikmin species!


A red onion. (image credit: pikmin.fandom.com)

Next, I knew I had to include plenty of onions! In the Pikmin games, the pikmin are generated from (and stored within) bizarre tripod-like structures called "Onions." Once again, the intrepid explorer Olimar named these strange objects due to their resemblance to the familiar bulbous veggie. I used cute little pearl onions in keeping with the miniaturized scale of the Pikmin world. Pearl onions also come in lots of beautiful colours, much like the Pikmin and their Onions!


Beyond these two key ingredients, I chose a variety of vegetables that Captain Olimar and his team of pikmin discover throughout Pikmin 2 in the form of "treasures" - assorted items gathered and sold to help pull the company Olimar works for, Hocotate Freight, out of debt. These treasures are given amusing names by the tiny captain Olimar based on how he interprets these strange items he discovers on the unfamiliar Planet Earth. Some of the treasures I chose to include are the "Infernal Vegetable" (green bell pepper), "Child of the Earth" (potato), "Spiny Alien Treat" (artichoke), and "Anti-hiccup Fungus" (mushroom).

A Burgeoning Spiderwort plant, with fully ripened Ultra-Spicy Berries. (image credit: pikmin.fandom.com)

Whew, this is getting long! A surprising amount of research went into this simple dish - I promise we'll get to the recipe soon! I brought all of these vegetables together with a strikingly flavourful pink peppercorn glaze. Fun fact: pink peppercorns are not actually a type of peppercorn, but rather a type of dried berry that happens to taste similar to pepper. In fact, due to their colour and spicy flavour, they feel like a real-life counterpart to the "Ultra-Spicy Berries" found in Pikmin 2! These berries, found growing on the "Burgeoning Spiderwort" plant, are collected by Olimar and the pikmin and turned into bottles of Ultra-Spicy Spray, which temporarily powers up the pikmin. They were the key ingredient to brighten up this entire dish!

I included honey as a small nod to the nectar from Pikmin. (image credit: pikmin.fandom.com)

I made sure the rest of the ingredient list stayed true to the wilderness setting of the Pikmin series, using fresh and natural ingredients such as honey (honey is also an appropriate ingredient due to the prevalence of insects in the world of Pikmin!) Feel free to garnish your plate with a handful of fresh herbs or even some edible flowers to capture the feeling of cooking with ingredients straight out of a garden!



 

INGREDIENTS

  • 5-7 assorted heirloom carrots, peeled and cut into pieces

  • 1 handful multicolored pearl onions, skins removed

  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

  • 1 cup canned/jarred artichoke hearts, strained and patted dry

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup red wine or balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp pink peppercorns, coarsely chopped or crushed

  • 3 tbsp honey (use agave nectar or maple syrup instead if you want it to be 100% vegan!)

  • 2 tbsp cranberry juice

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated

  • Salt and pepper

  • Fresh herb leaves and edible flowers, for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Fully wash, peel, chop, and prepare all of the vegetables and add to a large bowl. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, add oil and vinegar and whisk vigorously until an emulsion forms. Season with salt and pepper, then add peppercorns, honey, cranberry juice, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic. Whisk until well combined.

  3. Toss the chopped vegetables with the glaze. Spread out on a tray and roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Make sure carrots and potatoes are cooked through by testing with a fork.

PS: Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

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