When I go on a food shop (in term time) I head straight towards the fresh fruit and veg. I think people tend to think I’m extravagant cos I by a lot of stuff fresh, but you just have to be prudent. Check what’s in season, don’t be buying strawberries and aubergines in winter. And check what’s in the basics range, you can get a bag of 4 peppers for about £1.50. Also, try to get stuff that’s easily grown in Britain because it will cost less to ship, and thus will cost less to you. In the spring, look out for cheap cucumber, asparagus and courgettes, and in the fruit section: rhubarb. Most British vegetables are grown all year round due to the climate, so look out for broccoli, onions, beetroot, carrots and parsnips. I may be stating the obvious, but it makes a difference. This roasted vegetable dish is an example of me reacting to the sudden boost in the climate. There has obviously been a massive increase in broccoli produce, we got buy one get one free in Tesco’s, and then the local shop gave my mum a bunch for free.
Roasted vegetables are probably one of my all time favourite dishes. It goes well as a side, or I tend to have it as a big salad with some lettuce, spinach and cheese, feta will work on a budget, but preferably fresh goat’s cheese (I love being on holiday). When you roast vegetables the flavour changes dramatically. I don’t really like the acidity of fresh green and yellow peppers but when I roast them I love them. My sister is a bit of raw foodist, so sometimes she likes to avoid cooking so as to preserve the goodness, but I like cooking the hell out of these things cos they taste so good. I cooked about 3 peppers today. Because of our sudden influx of broccoli I decided to fling in some florets (a bit apprehensively) this time, which was a bit of a risk. My sister also introduced me to the roasting of beans, so we threw in some left-over butter beans (which are only about 50p a tin). The broccoli re-affirmed my love of roasted vegetables, they tasted really different and I recommend you try this if you’re a broccoli fan. The roasted beans are lovely cos they’re crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. I’m also a fan of roasted mini-sweet corn and green beans too.
Roasting, it is worth noting, is for the patient. But if you’re just sitting in your room working, you might as well stick them in an hour or so before you eat and then they’re done when you’ve finish. First you need to chop your vegetables, and douse them in olive oil in a baking tray as above (olive oil is healthier and adds a nice taste). Add some green herbage (dried or fresh) and salt and pepper and make sure all the vegetables are covered. Then stick them in the oven. My house inherited a ray-burn oven, so it takes half an hour to heat up, so these veggies took an hour and a half overall. In a normal oven pre-heated to about 220c degrees it should take an hour. Half way through give take them out and stir. It might take less than an hour; just make sure they vegetables are crisping and brown.
Sorry, but if this doesn’t turn out great, you’ve done something wrong.