GO SOUR Sumac, a sour-but-fruity spice, can add wonderful texture and flavour to a dish
The super-highway of recipes contains so many well-known signposts and standards that one can be forgiven for never wandering down the less-familiar byroads. I normally discover the new dishes of such byroads when I’m stuck. I look around the kitchen and think ‘Oh God, what am I going to cook now?’ It is a combination of mixing your fresh produce with some interesting flavours you may have in the fridge or your cupboard. Here is an offbeat dish that reflects the jingle-jangle mix of modern life.
Roasted courgette and Brussels sprouts
This is a variation on the bog-standard tray of roasted vegetables. Looking at the ingredient list you will see cumin, coriander, tahini and sumac; an influence of Middle East, especially with the yogurt and fresh herbs.
Tahini, or sesame-seed paste, is available widely. Sumac is a fragrant, slightly sour spice made from the dried red berries of the Sumac bush. Both are great to have in your cupboard.
What you need
- 250g courgette, cut into stubby fingers
- 250g Brussels sprouts
- 2 red onions
- 1 fennel bulb
- 200g Greek yogurt
- 25g hazelnuts
- 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, crushed1 tsp each of cumin, sesame seeds
- 1 tsp tahini
- 2tsp coriander seeds
- 1 bunch of mixed herbs (such as coriander, dill and mint)
- Olive oil
- Pinch of sumac
What you do
Wash, trim and parboil the sprouts for three minutes in salted water. Drain and place on your oven/roasting tray with the courgette. In a small frying pan lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds to activate the oils and flavours inside. Grind these toasted seeds with some salt and sprinkle over the sprouts and courgette, and mix well. Slice the onion and fennel and add to the roasting tray. Liberally pour olive oil over the mix and cook for 20 minutes at 180°c.
Use your small frying pan again to toast the sesame seeds and nuts, grinding them then with the remaining spices. Into your yogurt, blend the tahini and crushed garlic. Zest and juice half the lemon and add to the yoghurt mix. Taste and season, then spread it onto a big serving plate. Ladle the roasting tray mix on top, and sprinkle any freshly chopped herbs you have over the plate. Serve with potatoes and/or meat.
Red Cabot is interested in food, nature and small things. He sells his food at Westport Country Markets in St Anne’s Boxing Club, James’s Street car park, Westport, every Thursday, from 8am to 1pm.