One of the things Chris and I have agreed is that in years past, while there are lots of things we’ve been proud of, eating locally isn’t always one of them. Brixton Market was packed with vendors from all over the world – the Caribbean, South Asia, Southeast Asia, even Latin America – so while we indeed tried lots of new-to-us veggies from England, like parsnips and celeriac, we also sometimes found ourselves taking a few of those cute little mangoes from Sri Lanka, a couple chayotes (or cho chos) from Jamaica, or an avocado or three from Spain…
Living in the Philippines gave us an excellent idea of how much eating locally matters – not just to the environment, but also to the quality of the food. The only comparable disparity between an apple bought in London and one bought in Manila is the reverse scenario including a pineapple…or mango…or banana. At any rate, you get me. The point is this: we would really like to make eating locally a bigger priority, and to that end, I’ve created this entirely haphazard, mostly local (depending on your definition/location – some might say totally local, or not at all!) recipe I put together…it’s so incredibly easy, it’s ridiculous. Serves 4+.
5-8 red potatoes, depending on size, washed and cubed into 1/2″ pieces with peels!
1/2 celeriac, peeled and cubed, same as the potatoes
15-20 baby carrots – farm fresh if you can get ’em, with just the nibs chopped off
1 huge or 2 medium brown onion(s), halved and sliced lengthwise into 8 wedges (each)
5-10 cloves garlic (dep. on size), peeled and roughly sliced once or twice
1 huge or 2 medium red bell pepper(s), cut into biggish chunks
2 pieces fennel, cleaned and chopped down the center about 3 ways, depending on size
10-20 cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved
lots of olive oil
generous helping of herbes de provence, or your favorite dried herbs
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 395 Fahrenheit (200 Celsius). Combine all ingredients in a large (really large) mixing bowl. Mix. Lay out onto a baking pan (like a cookie sheet), cover with foil (or similar, just to hold the steam in, but not airtight) and stick in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, stir and return to oven. Forget they’re there. OK – not literally, but they need like another 45 minutes or so. Then chow down because they are delicious! Re-heats beautifully the next day, too!
Sadly, I did not think to take a picture of this dish. I will get better at these things. Bon Appétit!