Nigel Slater’s recipe for baked roots with curry cream

Grated winter root vegetables – celeriac, carrots and parsnips – with a mild curry cream sauce make a tasty light supper with brown rice or a good side dish.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Peel 300g of parsnips and scrub 200g of carrots. Slice away the peel and roots from a large celeriac to give 350g of flesh. Grate the parsnips, carrots and celeriac coarsely into thin matchsticks.

Heat 5 tbsp of groundnut oil in a shallow pan, add the grated roots and let them cook for 10 minutes or so until pale gold, turning them now and again. When they are golden and softened, transfer to a large, wide baking dish, (I use one at least 24cm in diameter) leaving gaps in which to pour the sauce.

Peel a large clove of garlic and crush it to a paste with a pinch of salt using a heavy weight, such as a pestle. Stir 2 tbsp of curry paste into the garlic and salt, then gently stir in 300ml of double cream. Spoon the curry cream sauce into the dish. The mixture shouldn’t cover the roots.

Bake for 25 minutes until bubbling around the edges. Roughly chop a handful of pumpkin seeds and a handful of parsley or coriander leaves, then scatter them over the surface as you bring the dish to the table. Serves 3

You could substitute potatoes for celeriac if you wish.

This is a light supper with rice (especially good with steamed brown basmati), but also makes a pleasing side dish for grilled chicken or baked mushrooms.

Make this more of a gratin by doubling the quantity of sauce and topping with fine fresh breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes longer.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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