Sounds weird. Tastes amazing. And is ridiculously simple. Do you have an oven? Can you turn it on? Then you can cook this.
Serves a hungry horde (served it up on Mother’s Day to my very large immediate family), or gives you plenty of leftovers for lunch.
6 potatoes, chopped into 3cm cubes
1 butternut pumpkin, chopped into 3cm cubes (or whatever type you prefer. Need about 1.5kgs whole)
2 heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
3 large purple carrots (or 6 small), sliced into 3cm chunks
3 zucchini, sliced into 1cm rounds
1 head of garlic, top sliced off
1 bunch spinach or kale or both, sliced (ribs removed if you use kale)
Few sprigs of rosemary
A bunch of lemon thyme
1 bunch parsley
As little or as much sliced chillies as you like (no deseeding that shit)
1-2 cups of quinoa
1. Pre-heat the oven to 210C. If your oven is like every other decrepit one in the Inner West, such as mine, put it on 240C.
2. Put the potato on to boil. Start another pot and put the pumpkin in once boiling. Once cooked, remove from heat and drain.
3. In a baking dish, tip the entire punnet of cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Bung in the oven.
4. Do the same with the potatoes and carrots. Dress them with half of the rosemary and lemon thyme. Put them on the second rack in the oven.
5. Give the tomatoes about a 10 minute head start, then add the broccoli, zucchini, and pumpkin. Did I tell you that you needed a large baking dish? Yeah. Season well and dress with the rest of the herbs.
6. Swap the potato and carrots to the top rack and put the rest of the veggies on the bottom. The aim from now is to brown everything – including the broccoli. Oh, yes, the broccoli.
7. Walk away from the oven and get distracted by Twitter/4 year old/planning setlists for your Engagement Party. Remember only when you start to smell burning (probably about 30 minutes).
8. Realise it’s not burning, but the broccoli is caramelising. Oh, yes. This is when you put on a pot of water to boil and pour the quinoa in once bubbling. It will be ready when the ‘germ’ detaches and the grain is translucent. If in doubt, taste some. If it’s still hard or gritty, it’s not cooked.
9. Drain in a fine colander (or with a cloth in one with big holes).
10. Get your veggies out of the oven. Mix the smallest tray into the biggest tray (or whichever is easiest). Mix in the spinach and/or kale. Dump the quinoa on top.
11. Mix delicately, as your tomatoes and pumpkin are likely to break up. This is all part of the flavour, mind you, but you don’t want them to disappear completely.
12. Add the juice of 1/2-1 lemon, depending on your preference for acidity (I love it, so put a whole lemon’s worth in), parsley, and chilli, if you prefer (again, I like lots). Season well, remembering all of the vegetables were seasoned. Mix well, but not too well.
I have been kinda vague with the amounts, with good reason. There’s not fixed amount for anything – you can put in as much or as little as you like of each ingredient. The idea is simplicity paving the way for the veggies to speak for themselves.