Thursday, 17 January 2013
I just love vegetables. They are one of my favorite things to eat. When my dinner comes . . . the vegetables are the first thing I tuck in to. I can honestly say . . . I have NEVER met a vegetable I did not like and fall in love with.
I am an especially big fan of root vegetables . . . beetroot, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, turnips, swede . . . Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes. Oh my . . . I love them all. And they are so very good for you too!
Grown beneath the ground where they are able to absorb tons of nutrients and minerals from the soil, they are a delicious form of complex carbohydrate! They naturally break down as sugars giving your body much needed energy boosts and the ability to function properly. High in fiber they are low in calories and fat, and they are just loaded with lots of tasty vitamins and nutritional goodies!
I really do love them, (I can't say that enough!) but I especially love them roasted! Roasting them helps to bring out their natural sweetness and nuttiness . . . and well . . . I just think it brings out the best in each of them. I have never met a roasted root that I didn't immediately fall head over heels with! 'Tis absolutely true. Cross my heart and hope to die.
I found this delicious recipe in one of my cookbooks, called The Delicious Cookbook. It is a book put out by one of my favourite cookery magazines, Delicious magazine . . . and this book is every bit as good as it's title makes you think it is. It's just chocker block full of tasty recipes! I got mine free for subscribing to a magazine. I can't remember which one, but I just love , LOVE it!
This dish was really easy to throw together and helped to use up some stale sour dough bread I wanted to use up. I always have parsnips and carrots in my vegetable drawer. I also always have walnuts. Who knew that these things would taste so wonderful when put together in such an imaginative way!
The walnut sauce is amazing and so very simple to throw together . . . stale bread, vinegar, oil, fresh parsley, seasoning and . . . toasted walnuts. Fabulous!
It was fabulous hot and freshly made . . . but it also tasted very, very good cold. There are only two of us and I found myself picking at it the whole rest of the day. In short . . . I couldn't leave it alone. This is a new favourite around here and I hope that it will become a new favourite of yours as well!
*Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with a Walnut Sauce*
You'll want to use smaller carrots and parsnips for this delicious side dish. Each mouthful brings you the delightful sweetness of the roasted root vegetables, along side the tang of a fabulous dressing/sauce. This is just wonderful!
500g of small carrots (about a pound)
500g of small parsnips (about a pound)
3 to 4 TBS olive oil
For the walnut sauce:
1 to 2 slices of stale sourdough bread
2 TBS red wine vinegar
100ml of olive or walnut oil (about 1/3 cup)
100g walnut pieces (3/4 cup)
generous handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Wash and scrub the parsnips and carrots. You can peel them if you like, but it's not necessary. Divide them amongst two large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and give them a stir and then return them to the oven and continue to roast until they are tender and beginning to caramelize. (up to 20 minutes longer.) The oil will be slightly infused with the colour of the carrots and some of the sweetness of the vegetables. Don't discard it. Keep it to drizzle over the finished dish when you serve it. Keep the vegetables warm.
While the vegetables are roasting make the walnut sauce. Tear the bread into bits and place it into a bowl. Mix together with the vinegar and half of the oil. Add about 2 TBS of cold water. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until the bread is soft. Squash it with the back of a spoon into a paste.
Place the walnut pieces onto a baking tray. Place in the oven to toast for about 10 minutes. Remove and shake off as much of the skins as you can by shaking them gently in a metal colander. (The skins will fall through the holes, so do it over the sink.) Roughly crush the nuts with a mortar and pestle, or rolling pin. (Don't use a food processor, you want them coarse, not fine.)
Roughly chop the parsley and garlic, Toss it in with the bread mixture along with the nuts, and the remainder of the oil. Season to taste. Place the roasted vegetables along with any of their juices onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the walnut sauce and serve immediately.