As a small child my mother would cook great terracotta pots stuffed with vegetables, carrots, courgettes, potatoes, onions and aubergines. It was a simple dish, flavoured with herbs, carefully scavenged when on holiday in France and each delicately seasoned with a single precious clove of garlic, gently cooked in a little olive oil which at that time could only be bought at the chemist for medicinal purposes. These wide bellied pots had tiny lids on their narrow necks and would slow cook over a very low flame, that smell of the vegetables gently roasting in their terracotta protection is a resounding memory. This recipe for Garlic and herb roasted vegetables is based on that original dish but cooked in the oven and a little more generous with both the garlic and olive oil. Rather than slow cooked as the original, this takes just 35-45minutes to cook. It’s is a dish that stands on its own or can be part of a spread with Harissa chicken and chorizo and Sumac roasted chickpea and pine nut salad with tomatoes. I’ve accompanied this with a harissa yogurt for a little spice to contrast with the sweetness of the veg.
This dish can be made with pretty much any robust vegetables that you have in the fridge. By robust, peas, sugar snaps etc won’t fare well in the oven, but any root veg, cauliflower, broccoli or sweetcorn (quartered on the cob) are all fine. Don’t cut things too small as they shrink in the cooking and if they are bigger pieces they stay moist whilst cooking. If some of your veg seems to cook faster than the rest, take those bits out and keep them warm until the rest is done. This is easier if you’ve left the veg cut slightly bigger.
Garlic And Herb Roasted Vegetables With Harissa Vegetables
Serves 2 as a main 4 as an accompaniment
- ½ a large butternut squash
- 300g baby heritage carrots or larger carrots cut into wide batons
- 300g baby courgettes
- 2 red pointed peppers
- 3 sweet white onions
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 2tsp Zaatar (a herb and spice mix available from most supermarkets)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 250g natural yogurt
- 1 tbsp harissa paste
- 3 radishes very finely sliced
- Preheat the oven to 200c, 180c fan assisted, gas mark 6, 400f
- Cut the butternut squash into wide slices and cut each of those in half. There's no need to peel the squash as the skin softens on roasting and can be eaten
- Peel the carrots and top the courgettes
- Cut the top off the peppers and slice in half lengthways. Remove the seeds and white inner membrane and cut each half in half again both lengthways and width ways.
- Peel the onions but keep the root end on the onion. Cut into quarters
- Cut the garlic through the centre.
- Place all the vegetables on a roasting tin and sprinkle over the Zaatar, pour over the oilve oil and toss to cover all the veg.
- Tuck the garlic into the vegetables and roast in the oven for 35-40 mins until the veg is cooked but still has some resistance.
- Meanwhile, stir the harissa into the yogurt and set aside.
- Once the veg is cooked scatter with the radishes and drizzle over the yogurt dressing and serve or place in a separate bowl for everyone to serve themselves.