Vegetables of every shape, color, and texture are mixed and matched in chef Monica Pope’s innovative and healthy dish. A light but filling option from the menu at Boulevard Bistrot in Houston (4319 Montrose), the multilayered assemblage consists of a pancake of grated and sliced vegetables on the bottom and a mélange of crisply sautéed vegetables and grilled morsels of portobello mushroom on the top. The finishing touches are a swirl of vinaigrette and a drizzle of burgundy-hued beet oil. Every bite—this one with carrots and skinny green beans, that one with sweet corn and zucchini—is different. And your quota of beta-carotene will definitely be supplied for the day.

Okinomi-yaki Pancake Batter

6 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fines herbes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon fennel
Pinch of cayenne

Whisk ingredients together in a mixing bowl, let rest for 10 minutes, whisk again.

Okinomi-yaki Vegetables

2 cups each thinly sliced white and purple cabbage
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons peanut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix vegetables together. For each pancake, place a handful (about 1 cup) of vegetables in a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup batter, and toss until coated.

Pour 1 tablespoon peanut oil into an 8-inch nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the handful of battered vegetables, press down evenly with spatula, and brown about 30 to 45 seconds per side. Transfer to a baking pan and finish cooking in oven for about 2 minutes. (Can turn oven down to 200 degrees after cooking and keep pancakes warm until ready to serve.)


4 portobello mushroom caps
1 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fines herbes

Coat mushroom caps in oil, garlic, and fines herbes mixture. Grill approximately 2 minutes on each side.

Sautéed Vegetables

40 haricots verts or small green beans
2 carrots, long julienne cut
2 zucchini, long julienne cut
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 head radicchio, each leaf torn in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch haricots verts, carrots, and zucchini. (If using green beans, cook about 1 minute, or until crisp-tender.) Remove from water. Sauté corn and radicchio in olive oil. Add blanched vegetables. Heat 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Beet Oil

4 beets, preferably small ones, or 1 can beets, drained
3/4 cup olive oil

Remove tops, peel, and quarter beets. Place in boiling salted water, lower heat to simmer, and cook 30 minutes or more, until a knife can be easily inserted. Cool beets, then purée roughly in a food processor, adding oil slowly until consistency of a vinaigrette.

Shallot-Hazelnut Vinaigrette

1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons cooking oil
3/4 cup hazelnut oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallot in cooking oil until translucent. Pour hazelnut oil and vinegar into a mixing bowl and whisk until emulsified. Stir in shallot and add salt and pepper.

To prepare each serving, lay a pancake on plate, top with sautéed vegetables and then with a whole portobello mushroom cap. Pour a spoonful of vinaigrette on mushroom and swizzle beet oil over stack. Serves 4.