Roasted Summer Vegetables and a Rosy View

Friday, 13 June 2014

There is a rose in our garden coming out in full bloom.  If you knew what bad gardeners we are you would be impressed.  A few weeks ago my husband cleared an over grown and mostly dead flower bed which had been doing a good deal of looking very ugly for the past year.  We took ourselves off to the garden centre and set about buying plants having no clue what we were doing except that we wanted a few hardy shrubs and a rose bush.  We returned home somewhat out of pocket but with a car boot full of promise.  My husband dutifully planted everything while I idled with a book in a chair offering up helpful and sometimes not so helpful directions.  He planted, we watched, we waited.  The centrepiece of our new flower bed is an English rose bush and I’m happy to report this morning there are two lovely heads in bloom.  The rosemary we bought is thriving, the fuscia is doing well.  As for the others, the less said about those the better.  You can’t win them all.  The tenuous link to this salad being that we can now sit outside and enjoy our lunch with a decent view.

I’ve been enjoying roasted vegetables in various incarnations so far this summer.  I buy whatever is in season but the main players have been fennel, courgettes, carrots, tomatoes and of course kale.  In this version I used up some potatoes and threw in an avocado but I’ve also mixed roasted veg with pasta, quinoa and even millet.  The flavour comes from the roasted veg as they caremelise in the oven, the lemon zest adds a bright note to the whole affair, toasted nuts or seeds add crunch and of course goats cheese for tang.

Serves 2
1 large potato peeled and cut in to chunks
2 carrots peeled and sliced to your liking
½ large fennel bulb or whole bulb if smaller, cut in to wedges.
8 or so small plum tomatoes cut in half or quarters if larger
1 bunch of kale or other greens
1 avocado peeled and sliced
Handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted
Goats cheese
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Zest of half a lemon
Teaspoon rosemary
Preheat oven Gas Mark 7, line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Parboil the potatoes, drain and set aside to steam.  Prepare the other vegetables.  Add the potatoes, carrots and fennel to the first baking sheet.  Sprinkle with rosemary and olive oil.  Place on the shelf of the oven.
Lay the tomatoes cut side up on the other baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and roast in the bottom shelf of the oven.  Keep an eye on the vegetables, turning occasionally.  Everything should be done after about 40 minutes.  The vegetables should be golden and the tomatoes should be beginning to caremelise.
Once the vegetables are ready add the kale to the baking tray to allow it to slightly wilt for about one minute.  Remove from the oven and grate over the lemon zest.  Serve up the roasted vegetables and kale in bowls, top with the tomatoes, avocado, goats cheese and pumpkin seeds.  Season to your liking.


  1. Hurrah for the rose! Don't discount your own gardening abilities and who cares about the dead flower beds.. YOU GREW A ROSE. I don't have the greenest of fingers too- my boyfriend does though so I shall leave it to him. I do ok with herbs.. in summer... when I am regularly reminded to water them....
    ps.. The salad looks delicious- so light and fresh and full of summer colours!

    1. Thanks Shu Han, herbs are about my limit too. I think gardening takes a lot of care and patience which I don't always have!