It’s the Season to Indulge in Oven Roasted Fruits and Veggies
Every Friday, Sofia Wood shares her best cooking ideas here on Make it last. For this week, she has let some gorgeous fruits and veggies roast in the oven until bursting with flavor. Completely irresistible!
I really hope you’ll like this week’s recipes. For me, these types of roasts are exactly what I want to eat in winter—hearty, vegetarian and very comforting.
Cauliflower With Garlic Infused Cheddar Béchamel
This dish is the perfect combination of soothing comfort food and rustic heartiness. Serve with good chunks of bread, as you will want to scoop up the sauce, and a crisp green salad for good measure.
1 small head of cauliflower, leaves and base trimmed
4 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic
500 ml milk
3 tbsp plain flour
Tiny pinch of nutmeg
150 g grated sharp cheddar
Cracked black pepper
A small handful of chopped of parsley
Place the trimmed cauliflower in a large pot and cover with salted water. Simmer for about 20 minutes, depending on the size, until the cauliflower is tender but definitely not mushy. Meanwhile, make your béchamel.
Grate the garlic cloves finely into a pan with slightly higher edges. Fry it gently on medium low heat in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 5 minutes until fragrant and slightly golden. Add the bayleaves and pour over the milk. Let it warm without reaching the boiling point. Pour into a separate jug and set aside for the milk to infuse with the garlic and bayleafs.
Start the roux by heating a medium pan with high edges. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and stir in the flour until a smooth paste forms. Gently cook for 6 minutes until the roux reaches a caramel color. Stir continually. Pour in the garlic infused milk and add a pinch of nutmeg. Let simmer gently for about 10–15 minutes, stirring often, until the béchamel starts to thicken. Stir in the grated cheddar so it melts and season with salt and pepper.
Drain the cauliflower and let steam for a while so all the excess liquids evaporate. Place the cauliflower in a baking dish and pour over the béchamel. Heat your oven grill and let the béchamel slightly brown before scattering over parsley. Serve with a chunk of good sourdough bread.
Crisp Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
Panko is a Japanese type of flaky breadcrumbs that adds a whole lot of extra crunch to this addictive side dish. Make sure not to over cook the Brussels sprouts, as they might loose their freshness. Not a fan of Brussels sprouts yet? Consider this recipe your gateway drug.
500 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 tbsp olive oil + extra for serving
A large pinch of chili flakes
Cracked black pepper
3 tbsp coarsely grated Parmesan
2 tbsp panko
1 tbsp almond flakes
Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
Place the trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts on a baking tray, making sure they’re not too tightly packed as that would keep them from browning nicely. Add the olive oil, chili flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper, than toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
Toss grated Parmesan and panko in a small bowl to mix. Take out the baking tray and scoop the Brussels sprouts together slightly if they’re too widely scatted, then sprinkle the parmesan mixture on top. Roast for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden crisp and the sprouts are al dente kind of tender.
Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil and scattered almond flakes.
Rosemary Baked Grapes With Ice Cream
Have you had roasted grapes? When roasted, they become elegant, extra juicy and concentrated in flavor. I think this is such a sophisticated desert—the simplicity is so seductive. If you can’t get organic grapes, use plums or figs instead. Non-organic grapes really shouldn’t be eaten at all, unfortunately.
500 g organic red seedless grapes
2 tsp raw coconut oil
1 sprig of rosemary
1 pinch raw sugar
To serve: Good quality vanilla ice cream
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Toss the grapes and rosemary with coconut oil and place in a small baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil and bake until the grapes are just about to burst; about 6-7 minutes depending on the size of your grapes.
Let cool ever so slightly and serve warm spooned over the best possible vanilla ice cream you can get. Remember to make use of any juices left in the pan.
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