Ross’s Roast Roots and Greens
I cooked this incredibly simple dish for comedian and self-confessed veg-dodger Ross Noble, in answer to his challenge: “can you make vegetables edible?” I’m pleased to say, it won him over! The recipe can easily be customised to whichever roots and greens you have to hand.
About 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
About 300g carrots, peeled and cut into medium chunks
About 200g parsnips, or swede, peeled and cut into medium chunks
2 eating apples, cored and cut into wedges
1 large (or 2 small) red or brown onion, cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 tsp coriander seeds, bashed
1 tsp cumin seeds, bashed
3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
200g kale or cavolo nero
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.
Put the potatoes, carrots, parsnip or swede, apples and onion into a large roasting tray. Add the garlic, bashed spices, some salt and pepper and 2 tbsp of the oil. Stir well.
Roast in the oven for about 50 minutes, until everything is completely tender and starting to colour, giving the veg a good stir about halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, tear the kale leaves off the stalks, ripping the leaves into large pieces as you go. Put these into a large bowl, add another 1 tbsp oil and some salt and pepper and mix well with your hands so all the kale leaves are coated with oil and seasoning.
Add the kale to the tray of cooked veg, arranging it in a layer on top of the veg and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until crisp. Serve straight away. This is delicious with a simple raw slaw made with shredded cabbage and grated carrot, and dressed with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper - and a few toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds sprinkled over if you like.
BRASSICAS Use spring greens or savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped, instead of the kale leaves. You can also add cauliflower or broccoli florets – these will take about 20 minutes (rather than 10), so you can reduce the first stage of cooking to 40 minutes.
SPICES You can replace the bashed whole spices and garlic with a couple of tablespoons of your favourite curry paste.
ROOTS beetroot, celeriac, turnips and jerusalem artichokes can all be swapped in.
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Photography © Claire Wright