Sweet Pepper Parsnips
Sweet Pepper Parsnips

Sweet Pepper Parsnips

This dish was originally created as a side dish for a Beef Roast, but it also works very nicely as Spanish Tapas style dish, rather along the lines of Patatas Bravas. The difference here, of course, is that I have substituted the sweetness of Roasted Red Peppers for the usual tomato-based sauce, and have added just enough chili to make it ‘sparkle’ rather than burn.


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Spicy Roast Potatoes and Peppers
Spicy Roast Potatoes and Peppers

Spicy Roast Potatoes and Peppers

This dish infuses Potatoes and sweet Red Bell Peppers with the flavours of India by first butter-frying them with garlic and an aromatic blend of spices, before oven roasting them to a rich, smoky perfection. The dish could easily beaten just with Simple Roti, or Parathas in a meatless meal, but it works beautifully as a side dish in a larger Tandoori Chicken Meal.


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Zucchini with Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Zucchini with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Zucchini with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

I often make variations of this dish to go with grilled steaks, but the general combination also works well as a side dish with roasts. It used canned mushrooms for convenience, is extremely simple to prepare, and provides a lot of scope for improvisation. In this recipe, I have limited the herbal addition to fresh Thyme, but Parsley and Sage together are also very nice.


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Sweet Glazed Roast Parsnips
Sweet Glazed Roast Parsnips

Sweet Glazed Roast Parsnips

Parsnips are one of those vegetables that seem to be either loved or despised. For those who love them, roasting them produces the best results through the action of caramelization. In this recipe, parsnip batons are roasted to a lovely golden sweetness, and then, later, when ready to cook the main meal, they are quickly finished in a sweet and tangy sauce that is reduced to a lovely glaze before service.


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Rumbledethumps
Rumbledethumps

Rumbledethumps is a traditional dish from the Scottish border region, and, like the slightly more famous dish Colcannon, combines potatoes with greens (commonly cabbage) and sometimes other root vegetables like Turnip, or Carrot. Nowadays, it is often baked with a layer of cheese on top and, in that form, can easily make a very filling main dish, or a whole meal, in it’s own right. Here, however, I am making a simpler version, more suitably served as a vegetable side dish.


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Minted Zucchini and Mushrooms
Minted Zucchini and Mushrooms

Minted Zucchini and Mushrooms

Mint always pairs well with Zucchini, and the convenience of canned Button Mushrooms makes this a delicious side dish for lamb-chops, steaks, and virtually any roast, or hearty main dish. In this recipe, the zucchini is first grilled to harness the power of the Maillard reaction, and to add a lovely smokiness to the finished dish.


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Shanghai Bok Choy with Mushrooms
Shanghai Bok Choy with Mushrooms

Shanghai Bok Choy with Mushrooms

The mushrooms used in this recipe are dried Chinese Black Mushrooms, also known as Shiitake, which make an umami counterpoint with the sweetness of the Bok Choy greens. The stock-based sauce in which both are served is seasoned very lightly and the resulting dish could just as easily be a main plate in a Chinese table service as it could a side dish for a Steak, or a Western-style Roast.


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Simple Roast Cauliflower
Simple Roast Cauliflower

Simple Roast Cauliflower

Cauliflower is not a widely appreciated vegetable. When boiled or steamed, much of the subtle taste of the fresh vegetable is leached away leaving a bland taste faintly reminiscent of old cabbage water. Roasting, on the other hand, produces a cauliflower treat that even confirmed haters can warm to… The subtle notes of the fresh vegetable are enhanced, instead of diminished, and the process gives a rich, in some ways ‘nutty’ depth to the vegetable.


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Bengali Fenugreek Potatoes
Bengali Fenugreek Potatoes

Bengali Fenugreek Potatoes (Bengali Aloo Methi)

Potatoes are commonly paired with fresh Fenugreek leaves all throughout the Indian sub-continent. This is true especially in Bengal, Bangladesh, and the Northwest region, where preparations of Potatoes and Fenugreek, or Aloo Methi, will usually be enhanced with the five-spice blend known, in the Bengali language, as Panch Phoron.


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Char-Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Char-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Char-Roasted Brussel Sprouts take on a new sweetness from the caramelization process and can make converts out of the most steadfast of sprout-haters.

I, myself, have never been a huge fan of the little green spheres at the best of times, but, when roasted with the right seasonings, and alongside other vegetables for extra flavor, they can turn out very nicely indeed.

 Today, I have not provided a comprehensive recipe for you, rather I have just documented one way I cooked them as a general starting-point for you to play with in the kitchen…


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