I am getting ready for Christmas, are you? Personally I don’t want to worry about getting the exact quantity of specific root vegetable for my Christmas dinner right – I rather like using what I have. So here is a recipe which is adaptable to any root vegetable at your disposal for your Christmas dinner. It is a moreish alternative to roast veggies you might have previously served at Christmas. And if you have already ordered a vegetable festive box from Riverside Market Garden you should have exactly what you need to make this dish which will complement your turkey, goose, pork or other roast of choice beautifully. I strongly recommend using a sprinkle of the delicious dukkah condiment, the recipe of which you can also find on Lia’s Kitchen website here.
Ingredients (feed 4-6 as part of a Christmas or other roast dinner)
- 600g mixed root vegetable, coarsely chopped (use equal amounts of e.g. parsnip, carrot and Jerusalem artichokes or celeriac and or 200g of each)
- 3 leeks, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp ajwain/carom seeds or dried oregano (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Dukkah mixture (optional- see recipe here https://liaskitchen.com/2015/12/12/the-wonderful-dukkah-condiment/)
- Peel or wash the root vegetable well with a brush and coarsely chop it together with leek.
- If using celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes place these in a bowl of acidulated water to avoid them turning brown, i.e. water with some lemon juice or vinegar.
- In a baking tray pour enough olive oil to line its wide base.
- Stir fry the vegetable and leek for 5 minutes after adding the salt and thyme.
- Add the sesame, adjwein or oregano (optional) and stir to make sure all veg is coated well in the oil.
- Roast for 40 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) until the veg is cooked enough to pierce with a fork but does not fall apart.
- Sprinkle with the Dukkah mixture generously once you have removed from the oven. If you do not want to add the Dukkah season to taste adding a couple of pinches of salt.
By now many of you will have travelled near or far to be with loved ones. You might be opening the doors of your home to loved guests as I write this. You might even be in full gear for the preparations of your festive dinners. I am one of these fortunate people who because of the geography of my heart I find myself in celebration at regular intervals at my various homes.
The day of ‘our Lia’ or Lia mas my own very special Cardiff celebration this winter at the start of early festive season. It was named so by loved ones when we organised a festive dinner on 10 December-my Christmas is being spent with family in Greece.
As I write this on a Christmas Eve, I can’t help but think that there has been much change this year. The world has growing pains and our transition is reflected in the hearts and minds of many. It’s scary, exciting, disappointing and exhilarating at the same time: the great unknown. Do you feel it?
Companionship, love and friendship help through any transition and to make sense of it all. And to celebrate and be celebrated is the best gift of all.
My early festive dinner was my gift: it filled our bellies with good food and our heart with warmth. I think this is the true meaning of nurturing.
I hope you all have a nurturing and warm Christmas close to those you care about and with no troubles. Love to you and your loved ones….
Our ‘Lia mas’ festive dinner consisted of roast goose with chestnut stuffing, fennel ham, roast potatoes, cumin and orange root mash, smoked paprika Brussels sprouts and a special ‘drunken’ trifle contributed by a very generous Ms Sarvani who had probably used a whole bottle of limoncello to soak the sponge fingers.
 Lia mas literally translates to our Lia in Greek.