Winter is coming! Actually in London recently it sort of feels like it has come. The temperature has suddenly dropped off, we had a really warm October but now scarves and wooly hats are being frantically pulled out the backs of drawers. And Winter is all about roasts right? Whatever the occasion, a big warming roast will be the answer. I just wish I had an open fire to sit by. Obviously any roast is paired with gravy. My original plan was to add a gravy recipe to this post but instead I decided to separate them out, I thought it would be easier to understand and find that way. So yes watch out for vegan gravy soon!
Back to today's post. The starting point was the glorious rainbow carrots I found. These were all on sale in my local Sainsbury's. However I don't know how long they will be around as they are part of the seasonal veg, and I think you will probably only find them in larger stores. But keep your eyes peeled. Obviously you can use bog standard orange carrots and get a very similar effect. Interestingly the different colours of carrot all have slight flavour differences. The purple ones are sweeter, while the red have an earthy note, and the yellow are more parsnippy. They all taste like carrots, but have that je n'ais se quoi (I definitely had to google that to work out how to spell it.)
Before the 17th century almost all cultivated carrots were orange. I'm not sure what brought about the change but how exciting is that we are reintroducing carrot variation into our shops and diets. All carrots are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. While very nutritionally similar to orange carrots, purple carrots contain high concentrations of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments that give many blue, purple, and black vegetables and berries their intense hues and strong health-boosting properties, including; anti-inflammatory and benefical eye health qualities.
Along with carrots I added parsnips and brussel sprouts, because I have just been craving all of those winter vegetables. I used to always believe I hated brussel sprouts. The only time we ever had them was on Christmas day, and they were always made as an afterthought. My dad hates them and he would boil up a few for my mum and we would all sit around and say 'ewww why do you eat those?!' Then one day I roasted them. I was an instant convert! I had been missing this glorious green veg my whole life, so now I try to make up for that, by eating them tons.
This is a super simple, super tasty dish. (Alice might have said it tasted like Christmas, ultimate compliment.) Have it as a side on your roast, or as the entire roast, serve with gravy or without, however you want to eat this you will fall in love with it's wintery charm!
Serves 3 (will serve more if used as a side)
250g Brussel Sprouts
5g fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1) Dice all the veg and place in a tray. Add the herbs, maple syrup and oil and mix until the vegetables are evenly coated.
2) Place into the oven at 200'c for 25 - 30 minutes, until the veg are slightly crispy. It's that simple!