Nigel Slater’s recipe for roast roots and herb cheese

The recipe

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Peel 350g of parsnips, then cut them in half lengthways and then into pieces about the length of a wine cork. Pour 3 tbsp of olive oil into a roasting tin and add the parsnips.

Cut 2 medium-sized carrots in half lengthways and add them to the roasting tin. Season with salt and black pepper and toss the vegetables in the olive oil, then roast for 20 minutes. Scrub 400g of Jerusalem artichokes, then slice them in half lengthways and add them to the roasting parsnips and carrots. Turn the parsnips and carrots over and continue roasting for a further 25 minutes or until all the vegetables are lightly crisp outside and soft within.

Place 150g of soft cheese into a mixing bowl. Chop 3 tbsp of herbs – I suggest parsley, rosemary and tarragon leaves – and add it to the cheese. Finely chop 2 cloves of black garlic, then mash it with the cheese and herbs and 3 tbsp of olive oil.

Divide the roasted vegetables and the herbed cheese between 2 plates, trickle over a little more olive oil and serve. Enough for 2

The trick

Jerusalem artichokes take less time than parsnips to roast, so put them in once the other root vegetables are starting to soften. Start all the roots on their cut sides, then turn them over as the underside starts to colour.

The twist

I like to add celeriac to this, cutting it into similar-sized pieces to the parsnip and giving it the same amount of time in the oven. Garlic is another good addition to the soft cheese, but at this time of year I would roast the garlic bulbs and mash them in, rather than finely chopping or grating them to add in raw.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater


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