Beetroot.. Brush off any dirt and roast whole in a hot oven (200C/400F/Gas 6) until the beetroot are cooked through (can be about an hour depending on size), pull skin off to eat. Great with a roast. Try with feta cheese, or serve with honey roasted carrots, toasted almonds & parsley.
With goats cheese (try the Chevre Long Camembert Mini from the market) – put a slice of roasted beetroot on top of a slice of the goat’s cheese, fix together with a cocktail stick, drizzle over a little olive oil, roast for about 7-10 mins and serve with fresh basil and more olive oil, add chilli flakes for a kick.
To drink … Beetroot, Pear & Apple Fizz (from ‘Hungry’ by Innocent) Top & tail 1 small raw beetroot, peel & cut into chunks, slice one apple and one pear into wedges, put them all in a juicer, stir in a squeeze of lemon and top up with fizzy water.
Carrots.. Puree – cut into chunks and boil or steam until soft, dry in the colander for a couple of minutes then whizz in food processor with butter (approx 30g butter to 800g carrots) or olive oil until completely smooth, finish with grated nutmeg and eat with roast chicken or grilled lamb chops.
Spicy – chop carrots in half lengthways, put in lightly salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, drain and roast with olive oil, 2 teaspoons of fresh coriander seeds & some seasoning for 30 mins (180C/350F/Gas 4). Serve with a blob of plain yoghurt. (Another Innocent recipe)
Cheddar Pie (from ‘Hungry’ by Innocent)Includes potatoes, leeks, onions & 3 eggs
Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. You’ll need a shallow tart tin (20cm diameter). Peel 100g potatoes & cut into small chunks – boil for about 6-8mins until just cooked through. Fry one large onion (finely chopped) & one big leek (trimmed & finely sliced) in a knob of butter until soft. Set aside to cool. Drain the potatoes and cool a little, mix in the onion & leek plus 150g cheddar cheese (grated), 4 tblspns milk, a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme (stalks removed) and 2 free range eggs. Using a 500g pack of ready made puff pastry – roll out two thirds of the pastry & line your tart tin, allowing the edges to overhang a little. Tip the cheese & onion mixture into the middle and spread it out. Flip the edges back over the mixture and brush with a little beaten egg (egg no. 3). Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness and lay it over the top of the pie. Snip off any excess and pinch the edges together with your fingers. Brush the whole pie with the rest of the beaten egg and bake for about 45 mins, until golden brown. Serve with peas or broccolli
Easy Bacon & Root Veg Soup
Cut a few rashers of streaky bacon into small pieces & fry in olive oil, add one large onion, chopped, & cook until soft. Grab a mix of whatever root veg you have, peel and cut into good sized chunks (carrots, swede, parsnips, potatoes all good) and add to the pan, put the lid on and cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes. Add about 1.5 litres chicken or good veg stock and simmer for about 15 minutes until the veg are tender. You can add fresh spinach or kale at the last minute for some extra iron or throw in some frozen peas. Season (use lots of black pepper) and add grated cheese to serve (parmesan good). Try adding a tin of tomatoes for a red soup and adapt through the year to use whatever veg are in season.
Steam chunks, fry thick slices slowly in butter, roast whole in oil with garlic… Good with cream, cheese, mushrooms, bacon, chicken…
Home Made Chips… Heat 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil (rapeseed oil is tasty and has lots of omega 3) in a roasting or baking tray for a couple of minutes in a hot oven (about 200C/400C/Gas 6). Cut your potatoes into chunky chip shapes (keep the skin on) and add to the hot oil. Cook for about 20 min / half an hour or until the chips are cooked.
Cream-less dauphinoise.. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Thinly slice about 1kg potatoes (washed, skins on), 2 large onions, 1 bulb of garlic and ½ lemon. Mix them all together in a baking tray. Season well. Pat down so it fits well. Pour in 650ml of chicken or good veg stock (should come halfway up potatoes). Bake for about 1 hour or until cooked.
Roasted Root Veg (recipe from Innocent)
Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Top & tail one butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and cut into chunky strips lengthways (leave the skin on – it’s great roasted). Scrub 2 large beetroot, 2 parsnips & 6 carrots. Top & tail them all. Cut the beetroots & parsnips into quarters and the carrots in half lengthways. Put them all in a large roasting tin with 8 whole (unpeeled) garlic cloves, add a few sprigs of thyme, drizzle with olive oil and toss until all coated. Roast for about 50 minutes until golden). Dressing – finely chop a small bunch of mint, mix with 1 tblspn red wine vinegar, 2 tblspns honey & 4 tblspns olive oil. When the veg are ready, take them out of the oven and remove the garlic cloves, cool a little then squeeze the garlic out of its skin into the dressing. Mix well, then pour the dressing over the veg and stir well. Serve with a spoonful of natural yoghurt, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and some toasted bread.