Throw a Tray of Veggies in the Oven

One of the great things of life is that you can throw a tray of veggies into the oven and have a spectacular meal result.

Toss a collection of vegetables, cut to size to cook for similar times, with some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and perhaps a spice or herb or two, spread on a tray and bake in a moderate oven.

Eat them hot – a bowl full of hot veggies on the table. Leftovers can be turned into:

  • a salad – chop and mix with fresh greens, or with a lentil or grain (my favourite is freekeh)
  • soups – blitz the veggies, adding your favourites such as herbs, spices, a touch of tahini, cream, yoghurt etc. Or chop and add to a tomato based stock. Lentils and or grains can be added – barley is especially good in Winter. Season well, heat and serve with yummy toppings like crispy garlic, crispy onions, chilli paste, pesto, chilli oil, finely chopped tomato, fennel, and/or onion – whatever you have right now in the kitchen.
  • pastes and spreads – puree with tahini, cream or yoghurt for spreads for sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, crumpets, wraps. Delicious with cheese.
  • dips – make a little thinner than the spreads, and snack with beautiful seeded crackers.

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Beetroot and Mint Salad, and Mustardy Cauliflower Vinaigrette Salad

Sometimes on weekends I like to pull together a grazing plate for lunch – an opportunity to eat a range of delicious items in a very lazy way while chatting and enjoying each others company. It also has a side bonus, one that you will love. I can use up anything left in the fridge before doing the weekly shopping.

This week we had cooked beetroot, roasted sweet potato and Fennel a la Grecque in the fridge, and a lot of vegetables in the crisper drawers. The beetroot was peeled and tossed with mint. The sweet potato and fennel were used as they were. The cauliflower from the crisper drawer was steamed and then tossed with a mustardy vinaigrette and capers. Mushrooms, baby King Oysters, were lurking at the back of the fridge so were pan fried with garlic and butter.  Various other veg were sliced and diced, and the plate was finished with cottage cheese and sliced 5-spice tofu. Divine!

The dressing for the plate can be mayo, a yoghurt based dressing, or any other dipping sauce or dressing. Today we made a sweet-tart dressing made with mango puree.

Similar recipes include Tomato and Lettuce Salad with Croutons, The Little Italy Salad, Fennel, Tomato and Potato Salad, and Raw Vegetable Salad.

Browse all of our Salads. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Burghul and Beetroot

In the time of COVID-19 we are cooking very simple meals, and our routines have changed dramatically. We often cook late in the evening instead of early in the day. We are adjusting, but like it at a time where the rushed requirements of travelling to meetings, offices, and events have disappeared.

We, like everyone else, are scouring our cupboards and our challenge is really to reduce the amount of food we normally keep. Because I cook all the time we have so much in the pantry, and many ends-of-packets that haven’t been used up.

So today it is coarse burghul‘s turn. We cook this in a simple but special way – with butter and olive oil – then we let it steam off the heat for up to 20 mins. It is the way we love to cook it. Note that it needs different handling to the finer burghuls that are available. If you have never explored different styles of burghul, head down to your local Middle Eastern or Afghan grocery.

Anyway then we mix the cooked burghul with some cooked beetroot and eggplant, and toss through some gremolata. A worthy dish indeed. A plate of incredible tones of deep pink and purple—lurid colours indeed, but such warming, and super tasty flavours.

Similar dishes include Couscous and Chickpea Pilaf, Burghul, Pistachio and Tomato Salad, Burghul and Cauliflower Salad, and Delightful Pilafs.

You can also browse all of our Burghul recipes, our Pilafs, and all of our Beetroot dishes.

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Beetroot, Potato and Eggplant Oven-Baked in Wine with Gremolata

First, I must let you know that during the time of COVID-19, we are cooking and eating much later than our usual routine, and therefore some dishes have not been photographed. But no apologies – this is a chance for us to use our imagination, not only for the visual appeal of the dish but also the aroma it floods the kitchen with as it cooks. This was made in April, after a few weeks of the lockdowns, and it brought joy to the table! The gremolata with the gratin lifts the baked dish, and we all became quiet as we ate the dish with our meal.

This recipe really makes use of a mandolin – a trusty and much loved tool in my kitchen. Daily it slices, grates, shreds or juliennes ingredients for salads, chips, bakes, and a hundred other uses. Slice a fennel thinly and add olive oil and lemon juice. Divine. Shred potatoes for latkes and rosti. Thinly slice cucumber for translucent salads. Julienne carrots, turnips, jicama, zucchini, kohlrabi for salads, fritters and stir-frying. Slice pears and apples for tarts for just for glazing beautifully in butter and sugar. Shred cabbage for coleslaw. Onions or other soft vegetables so thinly sliced for quick pickling.

Food processors are equally as useful, and mine has an adjustable slice so that it will produce thick slices for baking or see-through whispy slices for salads. You should see my daikon salad with such thin slices! But the processor is such a large machine, most times it is simpler to use the mandolin. Mine is 20 years old or more, a German brand, and I hope it lasts me another 20 years.

The mandoline makes swift work of this dish. Slice beetroot, potatoes and eggplant, layer with some garlic, and cook with wine and stock. Top with Gremolata as you bring it to the table. Special.

Of course, if you don’t have a mandoline, the food processor or a sharp knife can easily be used instead.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Pahi, Burghul and Beetroot, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Winter Bake of Carrots and Parsnips, and Gratin of Potato and Zucchini.

Browse all of our Gratin recipes and all of our Beetroot dishes.

The images in this post are from Unsplash.

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100 Vegetables: #17 | Delicious Beetroot Recipes

Beetroot. Earthy, versatile, raw or cooked, beetroot is a colourful and delicious addition to our table. Enjoy these 30 or so Beetroot dishes.

Similar articles include 30 Salads for Winter, Our Best Feta Recipes, and Delicious Chilli Pastes and Sauces.

Browse all of our Green Mango Recipes, and all of our Collections. Or explore our 100 Vegetables Series.

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Beetroot, Radish and Carrot Kachumber | Beetroot Salad

We had a focus on Indian Salads last Summer, mainly varieties of Kachumber and Kosumalli/Koshambari. As the weather slipped into cooler parts of Autumn, I found myself wondering if thes were the last ones we would make until the warm weather arrives once more. Perhaps not, I thought, as I do love salads in Winter too, but they become a little heavier than the Summer versions. More lentils, grains and Winter vegetables.

It is Summer again, so time to bring you this particular salad. It is such a delightful salad, healthy and quick to make if you use a food processor. The dressing is the usual Kachumber dressing of lime juice and black pepper.

Although I use raw vegetables, but many in India like them cooked in some way. You can either saute them lightly in ghee or Indian sesame oil, or steam them just a little if that is your preference.

Similar recipes include Beetroot and Mint Salad, Radish and Cucumber Kachumber, Beetroot and Carrot Kachumber, Chopped Salad, and Cucumber, Carrot and Green Mango Koshambari.

Browse all of our Indian Salads and our Beetroot Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Seasonal Cooking | Simple Beautiful Summer Salads

Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.

Elizabeth David is the best source of simple but utterly delicious salads. I love to read her books, and today I have taken the liberty of reproducing some of her beautiful salads.

Similar posts include 30 Great Salads for Early Summer.

Browse all of our Salad recipes and all of our Early Summer dishes.

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Beetroot, Avocado and Pea Salad

There is so much good stuff in this “almost superfood” salad that it makes you feel very healthy and conscientious indeed. Served as it is, it can be a very substantial meal – just scatter a few roasted hazelnuts and/or chunks of creamy goat’s cheese over the top, and you need nothing else.

Did you know that I grew up calling beetroot, red beet? That name seems to have disappeared in Australia, although a quick search on google confirms that at least some people, in some parts of the world, retain that name. I wonder if it came from my mother, whose family contained many German immigrants. Perhaps it is a European thing.

The star of this dish is indeed the blanched then quick-pickled beetroot, and its contrast with the slightly bitter pea shoots. Rather than the hour-long boil or bake, eating beetroot raw or quickly sauteed or blanched is a healthy  and very delicious alternative. The beetroot retains a bite or crunch that adds textural layers to a dish. Everything can be prepared in advance for this salad, kept in the fridge, and combined at the last moment.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

Similar recipes include Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with Mustard, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with Rocket, and Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing.

Browse all of our Beetroot Salads, and all of our other Beetroot dishes. Our Avocado dishes are here. Browse all of Ottolenghi’s dishes from Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Beetroot with Black Pepper

This is one of the simplest ways of enjoying beetroot, so simple indeed that everyone must surely already know its joys. If memory serves me correctly, it was the deciding factor in my falling in love with this vegetable. My Mother was not a good vegetable cook – they would be boiled to nothingness and then served without any accompaniment. No dressing, no seasonings, no beautiful black pepper to go with the ruby globes. And, truth be told, most of our beetroot experience was with pickled beetroot – always a bit tart for my tastes back then.

There is indeed a great affinity between beetroot, butter and black pepper. Who can deny it? And this is exactly what this recipe is. For completeness, and because I love simple cooking, I am including it.

Similar recipes include Burghul and Beetroot, Beetroot, Avocado and Pea Salad, Roast Beetroot Salad with Sweetcorn, Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing, and Crimson Beetroot Fry.

Browse all of our Beetroot dishes, especially the Beetroot Salads, and explore all of our Mid Spring recipes.

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Beetroot Vadai

These are wonderful vadai that incorporate beetroot, and are a specialty of Chetinand (an area of Tamil Nadu). They make delicious snacks,  but can also be served as an accompaniment to a meal.

Like all of India’s deep fried snacks, these are healthy-ish, meaning that they are made from wonderful, fresh and balanced ingredients, yet are deep fried. Of course, eat in moderation. If you can.

Vada are interesting food items – a compact way to get lentils, vegetables and spices into the diet. They are eaten  with a meal or as a snack during the day, grabbed from a walla on the street, or packed into tiffins to take to work or on long trips. Perfect balls of healthy ingredients that are always at hand.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, Coriander Vada, and Medu Vadai.

Browse all of our Vada recipes, our Beetroot dishes, all of our Indian Snacks, and our Patties. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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