It is still Winter in the North East and ergo, more root vegetables, roasted!
Last week I was in Utah. A state that I have never been to before, and, now, I wonder exactly what was wrong with me to have been so egregiously blind! Oh yes, one small teensy problem. I can't drive! Hmm.. That is being worked on in the immediate future.
Anyway, it was shorts weather there. Really. Ok, fine I had to do a last minute pants purchase. Thanks to the generosity and large heartedness of my fellow hikers (I forgot my wallet!), I managed to stay thawed in the near zero temperatures of the early mornings. Yet, it really warms up quickly through the day. Two days of hiking and biking and a lot of sunning and warmth. Plus, some very intangible experiences. I will write about that another time, when I have collected my feelings sufficiently.
Until then, I'll lead you on with a couple of snaps that also serve as my
reason for the absence here in the last week. I mean, it would be sacrilegious to look for wireless amongst these red rocks, don't you agree?!
Meanwhile, back to the reality of the North East. It is chilling. Bone Chilling. It's March. No respite.
Eating seasonal is becoming a bit of a challenge. I am rising to it. It's time to dust off that red sand and get the creativity going. There is a limit to the number of ways you can consume root vegetables. No, there isn't. There is always another cuisine I have not yet experimented with. Mongolian for starters. Em, what is their cuisine. Hmm. Homework!
This time, I bring you a dish that is a collage of Indian nostalgia and Western cooking. Winter root vegetables roasted in woody rosemary. Not so new. Tossed in a salad of boiled green mung beans, a lot pungent red onions and a generous squeeze of lime. Despite the lack of garlic, this is a punchy dish, I promise. The nostalgia bit is the beans and the onion.
Growing up, we made a 'salad' of sprouted green mung beans, with diced onions, some grated carrot and a lot of lime (or key lime as it was) juice. The quotes around the salad because it was always a side, never a full meal. Something raw and fibrous that was served along with the main meal (roti or rice with vegetables or meat, mostly vegetables). I loved these raw roughage bits. I ate loads of them. I loved how the juices would come out and I would slurp them up, loudly. Yeah! I was voluble in my appreciation.
You could do the same with this salad, for the warmer times of the year, whenever, it decides to come along. But, while Winter continues her icy fingered stranglehold, a warmer version, with boiled beans is more inviting, which, is what I just did. Cooking the lentils in homemade stock, lends a lot of flavor to it and little forethought is needed in making this composed salad.
Warm Winter Mung Bean Salad with Rosemary Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
1 cup whole green mung beans, soaked in boiling hot water for 30 mins
1-1/2 cups homemade stock
1 cup water
1 small onions, sliced in rings
handful of parsnips, sliced or diced (as you prefer)
handful of carrots, sliced or diced (as you prefer)
1 stem of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped (reserve the stem for stock)
salt and pepper as needed
Olive oil to drizzle
lemons or limes to squeeze over
chopped parsley to finish
Pre heat oven to 400F (380F fan).
Toss the carrot and parsnips in a little oil, salt, pepper and rosemary leaves. Spread in a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes under tender and crisped.
Meanwhile, drain the beans and bring to a boil with the stock and water. Season with salt.
Lower the heat to a simmer and cook covered until all the water has been absorbed.
The beans should be tender at this point. If still crunchy in the kernel, add some hot water and keep cooking until soft but not mushy.
The beans and vegetables should be done about the same time.
Toss them into a salad bowl and drizzle olive oil to ease the socializing.
Toss in the onions and parsley and squeeze a healthy dose of lemon.
Serve immediately with more parsley for garnish.