Roots rock

Autumnal times call for Autumnal measures which is why I have been cracking out the root veggies, from beetroots to yams there is nothing better for dark nights than a hearty meal.

Sheperds pie was always a firm favourite in my house; a delicious mix of tasty veg mingling with fresh ground beef mince topped with the holy grail of comfort food- mashed potato! 

I recently came across a recipe for cottage pie that replaced the mashed potato topping with yams, after the shocking realisation that there could be people out the who don’t like mashed potatoes I gathered my thoughts and resolved to give it a try. As it turned out my local shop didn’t  have any yams so I picked up some sweet potatoes instead. 

The resulting mash topping was a vivid orange and absolutely delicious!  The sweetness of the sweet potato meant the I didn’t have to add any extra butter or cream to the mash, instead, I gave it a liberal sprinkling of spring onions and black pepper for a bit of bite.  The recipe also suggested using swede as one of the vegetables to use in the mince, I hadn’t used them much before so was excited to see how they turned out.  Again I was not disappointed, swedes have quite a peppery flavour to them too which complimented the sweetness of the topping. The heartiness of the swede made the cottage pie feel even more lively than normal and the colour of the sweet potato and tomatoes made for a colourful taste explosion on the plate.

Root vegetables are often overlooked because people are not confident in how to use them. A great place to start when experimenting with roots is to roast them like you would potatoes.  Parsnips, turnips, butternut squash, rutabaga and beetroot can all be cubed and roasted together in a pan.  The important thing to remember is to make the pieces the same size so they cook together.  Throw in a bunch of fresh herbs and olive oil to make it top notch. Have fun experimenting with these versatile veg!

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