28 October 2010

Ultimate winter vegetables

I am gradually coming around to the idea of fruit in savoury food. This ultimate winter vegetables (and couscous) contains apricots and has a distinctly sweet taste. It's another Ottolenghi effort from Plenty and is fantastic. Recipe here.

After a quick spice reload I got to business. The basic idea is roasting lots of sweet wintery vegetables with some aromatic spices before adding a little stock to give a plate of tasty, moist and warming food. Soft too, easy on the gnashers.

Using my shiny new Scanpan roasting dish (whose 'surface technology is based on the principle of using ceramic tiles on the space shuttle, which prevent the shuttle from burning up during re-entry into the earth's atmosphere...The MOHS scale measures hardness of gemstones. Diamonds come in with a perfect 10. SCANPAN CLASSIC is a 9.5.' apparently. Sweet) parsnips, carrots, shallots and the spices are put together and roasted for fifteen minutes.

Squash or pumpkin is then added and the whole lot give another thirty-five minutes or so. Dried apricots, chickpeas and liquid (chickpea juice or water) are then added and warmed for a final fifteen minutes. The result is quite delicious - the roasting softens rather than crisps the vegetables and the combination of spices makes the food sweet and fragrant. The squash and parsnips in particular must have a very high sugar content. Ottolenghi suggests eating with couscous and preserved lemons but we had with some leftover rice and I feel bulgar would fit the bill well here also. Finish with some olive oil, chopped herbs and a sprinkle of pul biber (the Turkish chilli flakes) and it's done!

Hmm, spice-shelf seems to be becoming dangerously overloaded...

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