There’s an advert on tele at the moment which toys with idea that everyone has a favourite part of Christmas dinner. Some people love the turkey the most; other lust after the roast potatoes; lots – I know – go wild over the bacon-wrapped sausages. Personally, I swoon over the indulgent nature of the vegetables.
At Christmas honey is paired with long roots; cream with tubby roots; brown sugar with brassicas and butter with everything. Vegetables have never been so impure! But because it’s only one day in the year and because I’m fairly sure I don’t consume anywhere near the 7,000 calories which is supposedly the nation’s average, I’m not going to bother looking for lower fat/calorie alternatives this year or any other. Bring on the sticky parsnips!
The following three dishes are the vegetables which will be adorning our table this year. Yum yum.
Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
(serves 6 as a side)
3 big parsnips, peeled, halved length ways and quartered
3 big carrots, peeled, halved length ways and quartered
1 heaped tablespoon butter
1 heaped tablespoon honey
- Pre-heat the oven to 200oC.
- Melt the butter and honey in a pan and season well.
- Lay out the carrots and parsnips on a baking tray and drizzle with the butter/honey mixture. Mix well with hands to ensure the veg are thoroughly coated.
- Roast for 30 mins, turning occasionally.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts
Recipe at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/brusselssproutswithc_84756.shtml. I use organic streaky bacon rather than panchetta and, being a masochist, fresh chestnuts rather than vacum-packed.
Spiced Red Cabbage
4 tblspn brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tspn nutmeg
1kg red cabbage, heart removed, sliced thinly
2 red onions, sliced thinly
2 large cooking apples, cored and chopped finely
200ml red wine
- Mix the sugar, spices, zest, garlic and seasoning.
- Layer the butter, veg and spiced sugar in a heavy based pot.
- Pour over the wine and water. Top with blobs of butter.
- Place over a low heat and cook slowly for 3 hours, stirring very occasionally.
- Season to taste.