Not often, but every once in a while, the mister has some after-work event he needs to attend.  And, to be honest, I absolutely love those nights because then I can make the food that I like which he does not. 

Every couple has a Venn diagram of food that they like – happy and lucky is the couple where there is a significant overlap – particularly when it comes to vegetables.  For the mister and myself, we’re not so lucky.  I like butternut squash and could happily live on green beans – he hates them both.  He has an inexplicable love of marrow and kale, both of which I think are vile.  And that’s just the tip of the iceburg (lettuce).  At least we both love Brussels sprouts and hate zucchini.

So, when he’s gone, I usually pull out the butternut squash, eggplant, beets and any other vegetable that he’s not fond of and I have myself a roast.  The great thing about this recipe and pretty much any other roast vegetable recipe is that you can use the Justin Wilson principle.   Good ol’ Justin used to close his show sitting down to a plate of whatever he just cooked and a glass of wine and would say “The kind of wine to drink is the kind of wine you like.”  Same thing with this recipe – I’ll list what I used, but you should feel free to add or omit whatever you like (potatoes, sweet potatoes, different squash, eggplant, zucchini – you name it!)

Spiced Roasted Vegetables

  • 4-6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp whole cumin
  • 2 tsp whole coriander
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2 good-sized parsnips, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1/2 celeriac, peeled and cubed
  • 2-3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • handful cilantro, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 425 F

In a mortar and pestle, grind all the spices together into a fairly fine grind.  In a large bowl, combine the garlic, parsnips, carrots, celeriac and butternut squash.  Drizzle with the oil, then toss with the spices.  Tip the lot of it into a wide roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and pepper, toss together and cook for another 30 minutes.  Top with the cilantro and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

OR … you can do what I plan to do this evening and adapt the recipe to make a warm salad for a first course.  I’m leaving out the garlic, tomatoes, pepper and cilantro, adding a single beet and cutting everything into 1/2″ strips so that it will require about half the cooking time.  I’ll also add a squeeze of lemon to the olive oil and spices when I toss the lot of it together, then serve tossed with arugula and drizzled with a little more olive oil and lemon with a round or 2 of chevre.

One last note – if you’re making this for guests, you can do all the prep way ahead of time (excluding the tomatoes and pepper), and put the vegetables tossed with the oil and spices into a plastic zippy bag so that all you have to do is pour the lot of it into the roasting dish and pop it in the oven. 

roasted vegetables ... one of the reasons to look forward to winter!

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