I have to admit that my favourite part of a roast is not the meat, because I don’t often encounter roast cooked so well I don’t find it chewy or too tough and yet not pink on the inside. I am not a big fan of pink meat, although I am told that roast is better when a little pink in the middle. I prefer mine brown, even only lightly browned. So naturally when I heard we were making roast for tonight’s dinner I wondered if I could do something to the side dish to make it even more special. I have been thinking about this for a while now because I am trying to broaden my recipe repertoire from desserts. I want to be able to include sides and salads and mains in my lost of recipes conquered. So I thought about the roast vegetables. I like olive oil on mine, and I know some might call this unhealthy. But olive oil really brings added depth to dressings, marinades and more. So I thought – start with the olive oil as the base and then think about what else I could add. In the end I went with dried thyme leaves, garlic and lemon, and the combination was delightful. I also doubled my initial batch after realising it was too small to account for even a tiny portion of roast vegetables. I was also a bit anxious as I poured the mixture over the vegetables, because it really didn’t look like enough still. But it turned out that it was just enough to coat them nicely without then leaving them dripping. It’s simple and delicious, enhanced by the added pepper I feel.
It also made me realise how many different levels of cooking there really are in terms of mains, sides, etc. I have only recently started thinking about sauces, marinades, dressings and more. But I realised that a lot of the cooks I respect both inside and outside of my family have the knack of whipping up a good sauce mixture to suit any dish. I think I have fantasised about desserts for so long I didn’t think to spend any time appreciating all the other little things that really bring a dish together. But I think with a little practise and a little trial and error I’ll get there. I might end up making my own vinaigrettes at some point, or even my own marinades. It looks like a promising challenge, and an exciting one. But until then I’ll take my time getting to know all sorts of flavours and combinations, just like I have been doing with my herb and fetta beef patties and my minestrone. I really do look forward to learning all sorts of things about mains and sides and all that goes into them, even if I am not a big fan of salads or the healthier sorts of vegetables outside of roasts! P.S. If using different vegetables try to make sure the weights are still the same.
Serves: 5-6, Prep: 25-30mins, Cook: 30 mins
- 400g pumpkin, peeled and chopped
- 200g parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 300g beetroot, peeled and chopped
- 100g potato, peeled and chopped
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a tray with foil. Or if cooking with a roast simply use the same tray as the roast.
- Prepare the sauce by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, thyme leaves and minced garlic in a large bowl.
- Place the vegetables in the sauce and toss to make sure they are coated very well.
- Place the vegetables on the tray, top with salt and pepper and then roast them for 15 minutes. Turn the vegetables and then roast for a further 15 mins or until cooked through.