Sunday, 28 February 2010

Roast vegetables the non-crap way

Above is a picture of the roasted vegetables I made for lunch today. I'm sorry that there haven't been many photos recently. It's because my camera isn't very good and I'm a terrible photographer. I blame my mother for this, who is the world's worst at taking pictures, which is completely insane, seeing as she has a degree in Fine Art. But honestly, she cannot take a photo to save her life. I also blame her for the persistent frog in my throat, my itchy ears (TORTURE) and weak veins. My anxiety and tiny black pinprick eyes I get from my Dad.

There hasn't been very much video either because after I record one, I watch it back and just think "OMG! Boris Becker in a WIG!!" and can't bring myself to post it.

But I've had a complaint from someone very grand and I'm nothing if not craven and cowardly so, voila, a picture.

I wanted to talk about this because I have discovered the secret of good roasted vegetables and that is: par-boil them first. All of them. I used butternut squash, turnip, celeriac, onion, garlic, white cabbage and a head of garlic because Giles likes roast garlic, although I don't. I boiled them for 4 minutes in salted water and then turned them into a roasting dish with some olive oil, groundnut oil, butter and salt and cooked them for 1hr 15m at 180 C. I also shook over some dried thyme and about 1hr into cooking, sprinkled over some fresh parsley. Neither of which is essential.

I'm sure that almost everyone else got the hang of roasted veg years ago, but I never did. What always happened to me, (and I've seen it happen once or twice to other people), is that I'd cut up the veg too small and they'd shrivel up and burn to black in the oven and taste okay but look pretty awful. Or I'd cut them up too big and they'd still be hard in the middle after six hours.

So, for the last two people out there who haven't cracked roast vegetables: chop them up big-ish, and by that I mean about 2 x 1in, boil them for 4mins and then cook for an hour or so.

I would say "Job done" but then I'd have to kill myself.


  1. OMG Whole Roasted Garlic IS NICEEEE! Cut the top off, and just roast it.. and have it with steak!!!

    I've used Jamie Oliver's Christmas roasted veg recipe and it was niceeeee!

  2. How can you possibly miss out on roast garlic?!

  3. Not liking roast garlic seems to have caused a bit of a STIR. What can I say? It's always tasted a bit like glue to me...

  4. Greetings from the distinctly not smart part of NW5. Just having an indugent screw work, read blogs moment, & I SINCERELY hope I am not the grand person! You can't be grand if you write your blog in yr knickers, eating buttered crumpets. (Me not you, I mean).

    But appeal of blogs is def as much visual as written so think it imp to have images. Also draws readers in.

    As you have no doubt noticed, I can't shoot food for toffee, so I just gave up trying to be clever & just got on with posting my grubby kitchen pics. LLGxx

  5. Yah screw work. Are you ill? You sound ill on Twitter. I'd day make yourself a hot toddy and go to bed, but you're probably a bit busy for that.

    I make no comment on the ID of the grand person, I never reveal my sources. Or something.

    Pics ARE important, you are right. Your pics are varied, lively and unpretentious, which is all that matters. But I've succumbed to USA food blog peer pressure and I'm going to get myself a proper SLR and a tripod.

    Get well soon! I envy your superior central heating that allows you to blog in your knicks. xx

  6. Also draws readers in.