Monday, 18 November 2013

Veggie tapas

The new veg box comes tomorrow - which is great.  We have lots of veg left in the fridge - which is great.  The trick is to make nice dinners out of stuff which doesn't always immediately go together without just shouting stew, casserole, curry.... and chucking it in and hoping for the best.

Tonight, carribbean squash, balsamic roasted beetroot, spinach with nutmeg and parmesan, roasted heritage tomatoes, charred chicory .. all brought together with garlicky mustard yogurt dressing.  Yum.

Turn oven to 180C.

4 beetroot
2 red onions
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

1/2 decent sized squash, peeled and chopped into big bite sized pieces, seeds and middle stringy bit scraped out and discarded
carribean seasoning
olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced
2 big handfuls of spinach
olive oil
freshly grated nutmeg
black pepper
parmesan, grated

olive oil

olive oil

natural yogurt
1 tbsp grainy mustard
crushed garlic
olive oil
lemon juice

pine nuts

1.  In a roasting dish - put unpeeled beetroot, quartered red onion, a good splosh of olive oil.  Lid on - in the oven (will take about 90 minutes)
2.  Argue with the squash, battle it into pieces - I aim for about 2-3 cm cubes, but obviously the vegetable doesn't provide those proportions - so my best guideline is pieces which, in polite company, one would cut into two pieces before cramming into one's gob.  Put in roasting tin, sprinkle with carribbean seasoning (or mix of chili and herbs etc), toss about, cover (with foil if no lid).
3.  Have a sit down, ... cup of tea.. watch a soap.. for about 40 minutes
4.  Galvanise yourself, put tomatoes in an oven proof dish with splosh of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt.  Put dish in oven.
5.  Have another little sit down, listen to some nice music - about 20 minutes.
6.  Finely slice an onion and sautee gently in olive oil, after a few minutes chuck is chopped (or if baby spinach, just chuck it in) and washed spinach, allow to wilt for a minute, add a tiny splash of water to allow it all to wilt.
7.  Grate a little nutmeg (be careful with nutmeg, it can get medicinal) into the spinach, squish in garlic, grind in some black pepper, stir around, clamp on lid and steam for a bit.
8.  Check that the veg are ready... by sticking a sharp knife into the beetroot and squash, when they are nearly ready...
9.  Cut chicory into quarters, sear in a hot pan.
10.  Take the beetroot out of the oven, take its lid off, and let it cool down.  When it is cool enough, peel and chop into nice, bite sized pieces, and stir in balsamic vinegar.
11.  Actually, in the middle of step 10 - make the yogurty dressing... mix crushed garlic, grainy mustard, seasoning, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning ... to taste (think of 1 tsp garlic, 2 tsp mustard, 6 tbsp yogurt, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice.... but this really is to taste, so try as you go)
12.  Gently toast some pine nuts.  (If I hadn't burnt these, I would have spinckled them elegantly on the spinach).
13.  Present to appreciative crowd, and scoff

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