Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Roasted root vegetables with swine flu*

Got your attention, didn't it? But I guess that's not halal, so how about Roasted Root Vegetables with Pumpkin krema.

Third day sick in bed with low grade fever bouncing up and down, general malaise, coughy chest, stuffed up head. Thought I might feel better if I got up; at least I wouldn't be so bored, and it worked for a while, unfortunately by the time I was feeling crummy again I had to wait for the vegetables to finish roasting.

*Update: got the test. Doctor's verdict: "It's not swine flu. Unless it is." Test is inconclusive 40% of the time.

However, it was worth the wait. My own invention, inspired by a fridge full of not-goin-to-last-forever harvest and 6 cups of pumpkin puree. This is based on one of my favorite Greek recipes, roasted cauliflower in krema (basically an egg custard). It came out both delicious and one of the most beautiful dishes I've ever made, with deep autumn colors and a wonderful smell.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Pumpkin krema.

2 medium potatoes
1-2 small turnips (1/2 lb. or less total)
4 medium carrots
1/2 cup beets, cut in small chunks
1 cup broccoli florets
1 onion

1/2 cup milk or 1/2 and 1/2
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup pumpkin puree
salt to taste

Prepare a 2 qt casserole (spray with cooking spray or butter lightly)

Scald the milk; while it is heating melt the butter in a medium saucepan, brown the flour in it. Don't let the butter burn. Add the scalded milk and remove from heat. Stir quickly; this should immediately form a thick paste. Beat in the egg and then add the pumpkin puree. Set aside.

Cut the vegetables in large chunks, then boil the potatoes, turnips, and carrots until barely al dente and put in the casserole (they'll finish cooking in the oven). Remove from the water (don't drain-- you'll keep using the same water). Blanche the Broccoli, remove from water, add to the casserole. Boil the beets until barely al dente (don't do the beets with other veggies unless you want everything to be pink). Put in the casserole, toss with the pumpkin sauce.

Cover and bake covered for 40 to 60 minutes in 350F/175C oven. Serve as a side dish, or over wilted greens with nuts as a main dish.

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