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Two-Tray Spicy Roast Veg

Jam-packed with goodness, this is a great dish to slam in the oven while you get on with something else. One tray of roast veg forms the ‘bulk’ of the curry; a second tray of sweet, roasted tomatoes forms the saucy element. Mix the two together and dinner’s done.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1kg flavoursome tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 3cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 medium aubergines (about 500g in total), trimmed
  • 500g squash, such as ½ medium butternut or a chunk of Crown Prince, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 medium onions, each cut into
    8 wedges
  • 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded (for less heat, if preferred) and sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 6 cardamom pods, bashed to
    split open
  • 1 tsp nigella (black onion/kalonji) seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • About 200g chard, leaves separated from stems
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Coriander leaves, chopped#
  • 1 lemon or lime, halved, to spritz

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5, 375°F).
  2. Halve the tomatoes and place in a single layer in a large roasting tray. Scatter the garlic and ginger on top of the tomatoes (not onto the tray, where it would burn), trickle over 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the other veg.
  3. Cut the aubergines into 2–3cm cubes and the squash into bite-sized chunks. Put both veg into a second large roasting tray with the onions, chilli, cinnamon, cardamom pods and nigella seeds. Using a pestle and mortar, bash the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds roughly (they needn’t be finely ground) then add to the tray, along with some salt and pepper and 2 tbsp oil. Stir well to mix everything together.
  4. Put both trays into the oven, placing the veg tray on a higher shelf than the tomatoes, and roast for 30 minutes. Roughly chop the chard stems and add to the veg tray. Give this tray a good stir (there is no need to stir the tomatoes) and roast for a further 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chard leaves.
  5. After the full hour, take the tomatoes out of the oven; they should be blistered, wrinkled, juicy and browned in places. The tray of veg should be tender and nicely coloured. Add the prepared chard leaves to the veg, give it a stir and return this tray to the oven, with the heat turned off, for 5–10 minutes to wilt the leaves.
  6. Take the tray of hot veg from the oven, add the tomatoes to it, scraping in all the lovely pan juices, and mix well. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Scatter with coriander and add a spritz of lemon or lime juice. Serve with rice and dhal for a really sustaining meal.

Swaps and substitutes:

– Spices To save time, replace the chilli, cinnamon, cardamom, nigella, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds with 2–3 tbsp good ready-made curry paste.

– Aubergines: Use courgettes in place of the aubergines.

– Squash: Try bite-sized chunks of root veg, such as carrots, potatoes and parsnips instead.

– Leaves: Replace the chard with spinach (no need to separate leaves from stems), adding it for the last 5 minutes.

Recipe and images courtesy of: River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

January 2018 (Issue 34) Vegan Life Magazine

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