When I moved to the UK I lived in a room the size of a small hotel room. In fact, it was a small hotel room that was being rented out in the off-season. It had two single beds, a very tiny television, a small bar fridge, a kettle, a toaster oven, two teaspoons and two mugs.
In a typical UK supermarket, there are few standout things for me: packaged, processed foods are really cheap; green vegetables (with the exception of cabbage) are expensive and generally not at their best; root vegetables (and cabbage) are very inexpensive and are generally from local producers.
Given that just being in the UK was making me haemorrhage money, my food budget was close to nothing. And, although my heart lies firmly in the green vegetable camp, it was either root vegetables or a steady diet of fifty pence Madeira cake (that’s pound cake to the rest of us).
So, I splurged on some aluminum/aluminium foil and a small knife. I would cut up various root vegetables and would roast them in my toaster oven almost every night. I’d plunk down on the other single bed , which had become my office and dining room, and from one mug I would drink tea and from the other mug I would eat roasted vegetables with a spoon.
Roasted vegetables became a colourful beacon in an otherwise grim existence.
As with all crutches, once my circumstances got better and the sun began to shine, I left root vegetables behind. But, it’s time to give them their proper dues and a thank you. I haven’t always said kind things about the humble root vegetable, but they were there for me when I needed them most.
- 2 potatoes cut up in 1 inch chunks, skin on
- 2 large carrots, cut in chunks
- 2 parsnips, cut in to chunks
- 1 onion, cut in chunks
- 1 yam, cut in to 1 inch chunks, skin on
- 1 apple, cut in to 1 inch chunks, peeled
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 245 C (475F).
- Place all cut up vegetables of your choice on a baking tray (or tin foil!) and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Toss with hands until well coated.
- Make sure to spread vegetables in a single layer to ensure they get nice and crispy.
- Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and deeply browned.