A few years ago Morrisons sold some prepared vegetables, “The Best” Root Vegetable Roasting Selection. This contained baby parsnips, Chantenay carrots and interestingly candy stripe and golden beetroot. This we had on a regular basis, however they’ve stopped doing it, and they still don’t sell the candy stripe and golden beetroots loose. However the farmers market at St Nicks in Bristol on do sell them loose. When I am in Bristol on market’s day I try and get one of each for Sunday lunch. Unlike supermarket veg, these are varied in shape and size and are quite muddy as well.
I usually just cut them into chunks and roast them in the oven. I usually add some chantenay carrots, onions and parsnips to the roasting tray. Maybe also thrown in some garlic and herbs, rosemary works well.
It’s a pity that this method causes the candy stripe beetroot to lose its distinctive look. After watching the chefs on The Great British Menu I have been thinking about pickling them instead, to retain their stripes. The flavour is very much like purple beetroot, but not as strong. These also avoid the staining of the purple ones.
If you can get hold of them they are worth giving them a go.
This was a quick pasta dish I threw together recently which was enjoyed by all around the table.
I took some tricolour fusilli pasta, you know the one with plain, green (spinach) and red (tomato) pasta spirals. There I cooked in a large pan of boiling water.
In the meantime in a large frying pan I cooked some mushrooms. When they cooked I added the tomato sauce. For the bulk of the sauce I used a jar of Red Onion and Rosemary Pasta Sauce from Jamie Oliver. The rosemary was quite strong and certainly overpowered the tomato and I couldn’t distinguish any hint of red onion. Now I like rosemary, so I quite liked the sauce, but I can imagine that if you don’t then you wouldn’t, but you probably wouldn’t buy a jar like this anyhow!
After cooking the pasta, I drained and added the sauce to the pasta before serving.
Take some fresh herbs and mince finely. I used flat leaf parsley, rosemary, sage and basil (basically what I had available).
Add to a bowl of chicken thighs and drumsticks, add olive oil and back pepper. Though you can use a spoon, generally your hands work better, mix the chicken in the oil and herb mix until all the chicken is coated. Leave for at least ten minutes, thirty is better.
Roast on a bed of root vegetables for about 30-40 minutes.
I served the chicken with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Pan fried squid and prawns: Simple slice the squid into rings and fry on a hot pan with a splash of olive oil. The prawn, I butterflied and again just cooked in a hot pan.
Patatas Bravas – Fried potato, topped with a spicy tomato sauce. I made the tomato sauce myself, onions, tinned tomatoes, a hint of chilli and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The potatoes, I cheated and used frozen fried potatoes baked in the oven.
Chorizo Frito al Vino: Remember to buy the whole sausage and not the thinly salami style sliced version.
My method is to cut the chorizo into slices about quarter of an inch thick. Fry in a large frying pan until sealed on both sides and just starting to go a little crispy. At this point I add the red wine (Spanish red wine is best, but I am sure you can use any good red wine).
Cook the chorizo for a few more minutes and then serve.
Rosemary flavoured roasted chicken breast: Simple roast a chicken breast on a bed of rosemary with a splash of olive oil.
Nice and easy this, take some lamb and cut into 1″ cubes. I used neck fillet, this is a relatively cheap cut, but after marinading can be quite tender and therefore suitable for making into kebabs and grilling.
I marinaded the lamb in a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ground black pepper and finely chopped rosemary. Watch how much rosemary you use, it’s quite strong and some may not like this. I left it in the marinade for a couple of hours, you could leave it longer, but a couple of hours is fine.
I placed the lamb cubes on wooden skewers. Now you are suppose to soak the wooden skewers before using them to stop them burning in the oven, to be honest I alwasy forget and don’t really have a problem. Might be a problem on a barbecue I guess.
I grilled the lamb for a about fifteen minutes, more if you like your lamb well done and slightly less if you prefer it pink.