Sunday, 14 November 2010

Rooftop one-pot

It's the end of the growing season on our roof terrace, though I can't quite believe the tomatoes lasted until November. It was definitely a learning experience: aubergines can be tough to grow, you need multiple courgette plans for cross pollination, tomatoes need a lot of water, if you grow carrots in a pot they'll be tiny...but still delicious.

On the day we harvested the last of our pot grown carrots I decided to cook a tasty one pot roast dish. I love cooking all the ingredients slowly in one dishes and allowing them to infuse each other. The best meal we had in Croatia was at a plush harbourside in Komiza on Vis, where we had beautiful tender white fish baked in a big dish with potatoes, carrots and copious quantities of herbs and garlic and butter and olive oil. It was so simple and so perfect.

In the absence of fish straight out the sea, I browned some chicken legs and thighs in garlic and olive oil and put in a pyrex lasagne dish, before adding some parboiled (3 mins at boiling) and then halved new potatoes with their skins on, a leek, lots of garlic and all of our lovely little carrots. Lots of olive oil and some knobs of butter, and then into the oven. After a while I added finely chopped rosemary, tarragon, basil (all out the garden) and flat leaf parsley and a splash off white wine. I covered in tin foil and baked for maybe another 30 minutes until it was the perfect combination of crispy roast, melt in your mouth buttery, herby bliss.

The meal was a perfect bridge of the seasons, with summer's fresh herbs and winter's warming root vegetables. Maybe I was just feeling paternal, but our baby carrots were particularly sweet and tasty.

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