Veg on the side

Our evening meal often consists of ‘meat and three veg’.  The meat might be salmon, or a bbq’d butterflied leg of lamb, or a roast chicken (we never have lamb chops, and I rarely buy steak) and then the three vegetables will be potatoes (mashed or steamed or baked in their skins), carrots/peas (microwaved), or if we’re having a roast I’ll add pumpkin, sweet potato and onions to the baking dish.  If I’m in a good mood, I’ll steam some brocolli and/or cauliflower and then bake it in a shallow dish with a white cheese sauce over the top like my mum used to.

I very rarely prepare any extra vegetable as a “side dish” like you might see in a restaurant:  Green beans with slivered toasted almonds, Baby chat potatoes with rock salt and rosemary, Dutch carrots with parsley butter, and so on.  I just cook them in the simplest way possible and stick them on the plate. Fairly boring.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to add some extra flavour to the evening meal and so from now on I’m going to try to do that.  Tonight’s roast chicken will be served with roasted cauliflower with lemon and mustard sauce… and microwaved broccoli and peas.

Baby steps.

Mmm… butter:


Take a whole cauliflower, trim the leaves off, and then slice it in 3cm slices as though it were a round loaf of bread.  Place the slices in a baking dish, something wide and shallow.  Add about 1/4 cup of water, then drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil and add salt and pepper.  Place in an oven at 200C for about 20 minutes or until it’s looking nice and golden-brown.

Toss a small handful of slivered almonds around in a dry, hot frying pan.  Don’t let them burn, you just want them toasted.  Remove from the heat and tip them into a bowl to cool.

Melt an unhealthy amount of butter (80g) in the same frying pan and add one clove of garlic, crushed.  Stir, let the butter start to foam, and the garlic start to cook.  Add to the frying pan the juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a couple of tablespoons of hot water and whisk until combined.  Add the toasted almonds, stir again, keep warm.

When the cauliflower is done, drizzle with the lemony buttery almondy sauce.

(I didn’t take a photo – sorry).

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