July 04, 2011

Sweet roasted vegetables with dried fruit

Roasted vegetables must be one of the the most reliable crowd-pleasers during autumn and winter months. Because they are so easy to adapt, I think they make an ideal meal for a family of picky eaters, or a couple like us where the other one prefers all veggies and the other one more meat on the dinner plate. Nonetheless, roasted veggies on their own, or served with creamy feta, grated hard-boiled egg or toasted nuts, is certainly a wholesome meal for a vegetarian, but also makes a lovely side dish for fish or meat.

This particular recipe has a little twist to the original favourite. The seasonal veggies get an added boost from some dried fruit and a killer dressing that combines orange and lemon juice with raw honey, fresh ginger and verjuice. Speaking of which, I've been totally addicted to verjuice since our trip to Barossa Valley in South Australia, and it certainly makes wonders to this dish as well!

 Sweet roasted vegetables with dried fruit
(Recipe inspired by Terry Walters' Clean Start)

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled
1 large parsnip, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
2 onions, peeled
small handful (5-6) prunes, pitted
small handful dried wild Persian figs

juice of 1 orange
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons verjuice
1 heaped tablespoon raw honey
knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon potato starch

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. 

2. Cut the sweet potato, parsnip and carrots into 2 centimetre chunks. Cut the onion into wedges and place all vegetables into a large oven dish.

3. Toss in the prunes and the figs. 

4. For the dressing, whisk the orange juice, lemon juice and peel, verjuice, honey and finely chopped ginger in jug. Season the dressing with sea salt and nutmeg and whisk in the potato starch. Pour the smooth dressing evenly on to the vegetables.

5. Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 40-45 minutes tossing them in between to coat with dressing. Cover the dish with a lid (or foil) for the first 20 minutes to avoid burning. Serve with creamy feta, toasted nuts or grated hard-boiled egg as a main meal or on its own as a side dish.