Simply food


The spring cannot be too far away, can it? Meanwhile, winter veggies are in abundance and these recipes are two of my best.

Lost Brussels recipe

Rooting through an old recipe box for my last post, Rescued Recipes, I discovered a long-lost Brussels sprouts recipe (incorrectly labelled Brussel sprouts), perfect for those who don’t really like them. The secret is to roast the sprouts, rather than boil them to death.

While on the subject of roasting, I also recalled a great way to roast rainbow carrots and multicoloured potatoes for a really colourful display. Other winter veggies can also be added, though some such as beets may need parboiling first. Of course, you don’t even have to use rainbow veggies; plain yellow spuds and orange carrots will do fine, but I do love a different presentation. The taste is identical, although some claim the various colours have different flavours.

The benefit of roasting veggies is that the heat caramelizes the sugars in them and makes them sweet rather than bland or bitter. The addition of flavourful onions and garlic, or crunchy pine nuts or slivered almonds, makes for an interesting mixture of tastes and textures.

As winter drags on and yet another dump of snow seems inevitable, try these heart warming treats with the protein of your choice. At a recent dinner, I served them with goujons of haddock, an inspired pairing.


Shopping list

  • About 1 1/3 lb / 600 g, tailed and halved
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • Pine nuts of slivered almonds (optional)

Preparation and cooking

  1. Prep the sprouts by removing any damaged leaves, cut off the stalk and halve. Soak in very salty water (brine) for 1 hr. Drain but do not dry.
  2. In a bowl, mix EVOO, balsamic and a good grind of black pepper. Toss the damp sprouts in the marinade. OPTIONAL: Add in some pine nuts or slivered almonds. Lift out and spread on a baking pan. TIP: Line the pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
  4. Roast for 30 – 45 mins until beginning to char at the edges. Serve at once.


Shopping list

  • About 1 1/3 lb / 600 g mixed winter vegetables: 1 onion, 4-6 carrots, 8-10 tiny new potatoes. NOTE: For a colourful display, use multicoloured potatoes and rainbow carrots in red, yellow, purple and white for contrast.
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  • Parsley, and/or chives

Preparation and cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Prep the veggies: peel the carrots and cut into rounds, about ¼ in thick; peeled and halve the garlic cloves; peel and cut the potatoes into cubes, about ½ in thick. New potatoes don’t need peeling.
  2. Toss all the veggies in oil, season with plenty of salt and pepper and marinate for 30 mins.
  3. Lift out of the oil and lay out in a baking tray.  (TIP: Line the tray with aluminum foil.)
  4. Roast for about 40 mins, stirring at the 20 min mark, until the veggies are tender and starting to caramelise.
  5. Plate individually or present in a serving dish for guests to help themselves. Garnish with chopped parsley and/or chives.

NOTE: Neither of these recipes made it into my latest cookbook, which is now online at Lulu Press, although through technical problems at the publisher, it has not yet reached wider distribution.

Featured image: Organic rainbow carrots at a farmers’ market (Nigel Napier-Andrews photo)

Simplifood: Amazing food, simply prepared is now available as an eBook well priced at 9.99 in any currency. Click on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lulu Publishing or Kobo.

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This is Nigel’s 368th blog on Gentleman’s Portion. The SEARCH function at the top works really well if you want to look back and see some of his previous stories, or check under CATEGORIES.

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