Bit on the side

I’ve been experimenting with side dishes during Christmas in July. Here are three of my veggie creations. I’m particularly thrilled with the first one – hallejulah, a recipe that makes parsnips taste divine! I served these with a couple of slow-roasted lamb shoulders last night. I browned the shoulders briefly in a heavy-based casserole dish, then added 1 cup of red wine and 1 & 1/2 cups of chicken stock. I placed a lid on the casserole and baked the lamb for 5 hours at 120C. It’s so tender it falls off the bone into moist shreds (with a little help from a couple of forks). Mmmmm.

Recipe: Sweet potato and parsnip bake

3 medium sweet potatoes

2 medium parsnips

1/2 cup lite sour cream

1 tblsp wholegrain mustard

2 bread crusts, crumbed

2/3 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup pinenuts

METHOD: Cook sweet potato and parsnip in boiling water until tender. Preheat oven to 180C. Drain and mash parsnips and sweet potato with sour cream. Stir through mustard. Scoop into a baking dish. Mix together parmesan, bread crumbs and pine nuts. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake in oven for around 25-30 minutes, until golden.

Recipe: red cabbage with beetroot

1/3 cup raw caster sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 a red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 apples, thickly sliced

4 raw beetroots, peeled and cut into thin wedges

1 cup red wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

25g butter

METHOD: Combine salt, pepper, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. In a large, heavy-based frying pan, layer a quarter of the cabbage, quarter of the onion, quarter of the apple and quarter of the beetroot. Sprinkle over a quarter of the salt mixture. Repeat layers, finishing with salt layer. Pour over wine and vinegar. Dot with butter. Bring to a gentle boil, covered, over a medium heat. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Stir occasionally.

Recipe: silverbeet gratin

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 bunch of silverbeet, white stalks removed, chopped

50g butter

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of cornflour mixed to a paste with a little water

1 cup of grated tasty cheese

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

METHOD: Heat olive oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add silverbeet and stir-fry until soft. Place in a square baking dish or divvy up among small, individual ramekins. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add milk and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in cornflour until mixture thickens. Simmer five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of grated tasty cheese. Pour mixture over spinach. Sprinkle over remaining grated tasty cheese, parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden and mixture is bubbling.

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