EDIBLE CAMPUS CHRISTMAS VEGETABLES

By Isabelle Low

Whether your centrepiece is a turkey (hopefully organic and free range) or like me a stuffed portobello mushroom, there needs to be a lot of traditional vegetables as supporting cast.

Let’s first think of a huge tray of roasted root vegetables.

Parsnips: so good chopped length wise and roasted. 

Beetroot: ideally multiple varieties, quartered and roasted

Red onions: again quartered and roasted

Potatoes: a great veggie way to wow your family and friends is by making hasselback potatoes.  Hasselback potatoes are made by finely slicing most but not all through a large potato (setting the potato on a large serving spoon and slicing down is the easiest way to do this).  Add oil and any herbs that you fancy (I like rosemary) and roast until cooked: the slices will open like a fan and look wonderful.

Carrots: I’m not keen on boiled carrot; but roasted heirloom carrots in a variety of colours look and taste fabulous.  Or go for this wonderful Moroccan recipe from Claudia Roden, uninspiringly named “boiled carrot salad”: boil carrots until soft; drain but reserve the stock; blend with garlic, grated root ginger and cumin, harissa, olive oil and lemon juice.  (Why reserve the stock?  To make any leftovers into soup)

Brussels sprouts: I always disliked them; but I have become reconciled to them recently by shredding them and stir frying them with chilli.  It works for kale too (which I prefer).

Leeks: try them as a gratin,cooked in the oven alongside everything else.  Slice them fine, retaining as much of the green parts as possible and rinse thoroughly.  Steam for 10 minutes until softened.  Butter or oil a gratin dish, layer the leeks with grated cheese (I like parmesan best) and cover with cream.  Bake until the top is golden.

Of course, you can go for exotic veg like asparagus from Spain or green beans from Kenya but best to eat seasonally and buy local or pick at an Edible Campus garden near you.