I’ve decided to be a little stricter with myself and the vegetable compartment of my fridge lately. I sometimes find the vegetable drawer left with bits and pieces that are threatening to expire on me. Half a capsicum here, and slice of butternut squash there, some cauliflower I have almost forgotten about. It’s a mish-mash of ingredients crying out to be used before they keel over and get tossed into the bin. And in this day and age where food waste is a problem, throwing food away is a Very Bad Thing.
So recently having been confronted with a vegetable drawer of forlorn bits and pieces, I tossed them into a pan and roasted them up, hoping for a good outcome. Ta-dah. They turned out very well, with all these colours and variety of flavours presented before me. What’s more, I had saved the world from another bit of unnecessary food waste.
It helped that these vegetables have their own natural sweetness, too, which becomes more pronounced with roasting. What pulled it all together was of a nice sprinkling of parsley, raisins, onions and garlic. These added pops of more intense flavours, kinda like what bacon does in any dish. But if I don’t have parsley, coriander, Chinese celery, rosemary or any strong-ish herb will do the trick.
Alongside it, I roasted up a chicken, then poured out a G&T or three, and it all made for a fine midweek dinner.
I offer no real recipe for this in its formal sense, but a little guideline:
- Wash the vegetable leftovers in your fridge and chop them into large-ish pieces.
- Add 2 chopped cloves of garlic and 2 large onions, cut into medium-sized wedges.
- Put all the ingredients in a roasting pan and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast at 180°C for 20-25 mins, then turn up to 220°C for another 10 mins to get those nice charred edges. Remove from oven.
- Add a little more olive oil and toss again. If you have truffle- or lemon-infused olive oil, use it at this point to add another layer of fresh flavours to your dish.
- Throw in some raisins and chopped parsley (or any herbs of your choice).
- At this point, for more decluttering, raid your pantry and see if you have any half-opened packet of nuts from your recent beer party, or a half-skinned lemon or orange left over from your recent martini bash. Add in the nuts, and grate the remaining rind and toss it in too. Whatever else you can find could work too–leftover chicken, a teaspoon of sesame seeds, some leftover ikan bilis. Just don’t go overboard with these additions – no more than two would do.
- Now it’s ready to serve.