Sunday, November 4, 2007
Sweet Potato & Carrot Casserole With Apple, Spiced Chickpeas, Salad
Last Sunday lunch was a comedy of errors! I foound this great (I thought - and no doubt it is!) recipe in Finlayson's 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes (a book I highly recommend, by the way.) and thought Why Not! It takes a can of (crushed) pineapple (which we don't use, but all the better reason for trying the recipe), so my dh said he'd run down to the Convenience Store (we have two of them in this block alone) for it. Meanwhile I started on the recipe - tried to give a shout out the door to pick up some carrots too (I said it was a comedy!) since it required six, but he'd already left in the elevator. Never mind, I had a couple of small carrots plus lots of sweet potatoes. I was okay for a chickpea topping, since I tend to keep cooked chickpeas in the freezer. Well, wouldn't you know it: neither shop had pineapple - crushed, sliced, chunked or in any form whatsoever, and there wasn't time to wait for the market to open. Also, of course, no time to use the slowcooker anyway - AND we had an appointment early afternoon so had to have our lunch earlier than usual (I remembered just in time).
So what I did was use sweet potatoes and a little carrot, sliced, mostly cooked in a pan on top of the stove. Deciding to abandon any idea of Finlayson's interesting recipe, I flew by the seat of my pants. I layered the veg in a casserole with three apples (I believe they were galas) sliced but not peeled, sprinkled each layer with nutmeg, cinnamon, the zest of a big orange and heaven knows what else, mixed a little flour with a little sugar and a little orange juice to drizzle through the whole thing and put it in the oven to bake for however long I thought it'd take. When I figured it was nearly ready I put some orange chunks on top and a sprinkle of sesame seeds to add 'interest'.
Didn't have a hope! But it started to smell wonderful and we found it was delicious - and it's worth going back to soon to try to work this recipe out properly. It took a couple of days to get through, but we didn't leave a scrap.
I paired this dish with a spiced chickpea dish (the recipe I couldn't make required a chickpea topping and I'd already thawed them). The Indian spices were a nice match with the fruity taste of the sweet potato and apple dish, if a little unconventional. (Er, just a bit!)
This was quickly thrown together - onion, celery, green pepper, coriander, cummin, cayenne, fenugreek, turmeric, and whatever else my hand lighted on, topped with coriander leaves (cilantro).
We had a salad while we waited for the main course to finish cooking.