Monday, 5 May 2014

A Week's Worth of Roasted Vegetables

Mediterranean Chicken (for the recipe see the link below)
There was a time when roasted vegetables meant roast potatoes and parsnips and nothing much else.

Can you remember when we all started tray baking our courgettes and peppers? For me, I first had the dish (in a wondrous balsamic vinegar dressing- totally new to me!) at a party in the Nineties.

I did a quick search on the internet and saw that this dish grew in popularity circa 1995 when Delia Smith brought out her 'Summer Collection' and suddenly we were all making Pasta Puttanesca, Chicken Basque and of course all oven-roasting our veg.
Well, nice one Delia.
It's been a mainstay of my repertoire evcr since.

When you have the oven on (if you're baking a cake or roasting a chicken perhaps), find the biggest oven tray you have and roast whatever is in the veg drawer of your fridge. Onions, garlic, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, squash, leeks, new potatoes- any combination as long as there is plenty of variety.
Cut them into equal sized chunks so they cook evenly, toss them in some olive oil, some balsamic vinegar and loads of salt and pepper and roast until they collapse and caramelize (usually 35-40 minutes at 180 degrees).

You can then serve them hot to accompany your meal- with chicken, steak, chops, salmon, hake...anything really- but then keep the rest and allow to cool completely and absorb the dressing. (Don't waste a drop of that sticky sauce!)

Hake with Roasted veg

Here are some suggestions of how you could use all these cooked veg during the rest of the week.

1. Mix with couscous to make a salad or to accompany  burgers, meatballs or quiche.

Couscous with roasted veg

2. Cook a pack of ravioli or tortellini , mix with the veg and some chopped tomatoes, top with grated cheese.
Tortellini pasta bake
3. Make a vegetable curry - by coating the veg in some korma paste, frying gently and then adding a tin of lentils and half a tin of coconut milk and simmering together until the flavours blend. Serve with basmati rice.

Vegetable curry with lentils

4. Mixed with salad leaves, fresh tomatoes and cucumber, pine nuts etc

Roasted veg salad with spinach and pine nuts

5. Blitzed with peanut butter or tahini, olive oil and lemon juice to make a roasted veg hummus

This recipe featured on the Guardian recipe swap website (link above).

6. Packed with slices of mozzarella into a baguette for a substantial lunch

Roasted veg and mozzarella baguettes

7. Any left? Blitz the last little bit to make a sauce for white fish. Red pepper and tomato go particularly well with delicate flavoured fish.
Sea bass with roasted vegetable sauce

So, the week has gone by and the roasted veg have been used up in a variety of ways.

I hope you've enjoyed them and are not vegged-out!

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