OK so we’ve been out all day and driven 100 mile round-trip in all weathers except sun. It’s rained, hailed, snowed, was foggy and now it’s freezing fog and raining again.
The first priority when we arrived home was to get the woodburner going. The next, kettle on. Then the easiest prep for the easiest of suppers.
Roughly chop a half of one medium sized cauliflower – into moderately sized florets but you don’t need to be careful about it. Slice one onion. Peel and chop four cloves of garlic. Chunk a couple of sticks of celery, chop two medium sized potatoes and slice one red pepper into thick slices. Chop half a preserved lemon having first scooped out the flesh and discarded it. Throw everything into big bowl. Season liberally with seasalt, chopped rosemary and grate in the rind of one lemon. Add one dessert spoon of powdered turmeric and the same of hot smoked paprika. Add 30ml olive oil. Mix thoroughly and go away and read a book for a couple of hours in front of the fire and drink tea.
Turn on the oven to 190C. Put just a little oil into a baking tray and put the tray in the oven to get smoking hot. Whilst it is getting hot add 250ml tomato juice or a tin of chopped tomatoes to the contents of the bowl in which you are marinading the vegetables. Add one 1litre jar or two tins of chick peas and their water. Mix in with the vegetables. So far so easy huh?
Remove the smoking hot tray from the oven. Pour in the contents of the bowl. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Put the tray back in the oven for 40 minutes. Pour a gin and tonic. Go back to the sofa and your book. It just gets easier and easier!
When 40 minutes is up, empty one bag of pre-cooked rice into a jug and microwave for two minutes. Chop some kale into a saucepan and add a scant amount of water, clamp on the lid and set to high so that it steams rather than cooks – just for a couple of minutes – you will know you’ve done it right if you don’t need to drain the kale and it’s done!
Take the tray of scorching hot vegetables out of the oven and drizzle some pomegranate molasses over the top – maybe 20ml or so. Take a jar of aubergine chutney out of the cupboard. Take a jar of fermented carrots out of the fridge (recipe to come later) and pour 150ml Kefir into a small bowl – or you can use good organic yogurt – and sprinkle with some fennel seed. Now let everything that is hot rest for five minutes.
Now plate up – some rice, some roasted cauliflower and chick pea with sauce, some crispy kale. all garnished with carrot, some chutney and some cooling raita. All in the time it takes to drink a G&T and read a couple of chapters.
Woodburner is burbling away. Himself is watching Japanese woodturning on Youtube with his headphones on. I’m on the sofa contemplating a second G&T and whether I should read another chapter of David Storey’s Saville or watch the final episode of Outlander. It’s been that sort of a day.