Ever since I showed Little and Small the Great Big Vegetable Challenge blog they have been fascinated with what Charlotte prepares for Freddie, and not forgetting Alex. Being huge vegetable fans (we're very lucky!) they thought that it was very strange that Freddie didn't like vegetables. Having now watched Freddie learn to love veg, Little says "Freddie likes more different vegetables than us Mummy and that is a lot!" I hope Charolotte feels very proud of the change around. It's been fun to watch and inspirational to read about. Funnily enough Small seems to be going through a phase of not liking potatoes very much. Now this is very strange as everybody likes potatoes - don't they?!
Jacket Potatoes, Baked Potatoes whatever you call them they're easy, filling and very versatile. When Charlotte of the GBVC mentioned in an e-mail that they were having a little event that involved your best baked potato filling I immediately thought of...
creamed leeks sprinkled with parmesan breadcrumbs
creamed spinach and goats cheese with pine nuts,
curry of any sort,
chilli con carne, sour cream and grated cheese,
franks and beans
and finally never, not ever just cheese...!
We didn't make any of those though, instead we decided to make a version of something that we do often using whatever veggies we have to hand. Which yesterday just happened to be... half a large celeriac, half a large swede, one large parsnip, 2 large carrots and 2 red onions.
Method... Preheat oven to 200C - Peel and then chop all of the veg into approximately 1cm chunks. Place in an oven proof dish and then drench in olive oil that has been mixed with some Moroccan inspired spices. (We used 5 tablespoons of olive oil with 3 teaspoons of our Moroccan spice mix which currently includes: ground cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon and a little paprika). Then roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Take out and add one tin of chopped tomatoes (you need decent ones with thick juice), put back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve on steaming hot crispy skinned baked potatoes that have been sliced open and smothered in butter. If you're feeling all virtuous then forego the butter.
This seems to work for almost any type and combination of vegetables and is also good served with rice or pasta.
Over the last couple of weeks the kitchen has been Globe Trotting. We've had Far Eastern inspired stir frys, Cheat's Curries and Japanese style soups among other things. All made on the spur of the moment, without planning and all perfectly edible, but I can't say we've made anything that I wanted to write about.. We've used up some of the contents of our bulging cupboards and this evening we'll be heading to Italy, I can't wait!!!
I've been looking at a few books for inspiration... Jamie's Italy, Twelve by Tessa Kiros and Complete Italian Food by Antonio and Priscilla Carluccio, there's also Carluccio's website. I shall be heading over to Sara's Kitchen Pantry and San Lorenzo blogs, Ilva's Lucullian Delights and Ivonne's Cream Puffs in Venice for some inspiration too.