Monday, 14 September 2015

Root veg crisps

It's that time of year again where I pack away my summer threads and start unloading my hefty winter jumpers, boots and scarves. It's also around about September where my diet starts to change. Gone are the light salads for lunch, instead I start whipping up batches of soup or stews, anything to keep the cold out and the warm in.

As mentioned in my Roasted Lentils post last week, I've been trying to consider healthier options when it comes to food. Another recipe I've been toying with is for root veg crisps (or chips for anyone outside of the UK). Instead of frying, these are roasted, and offer a wider variety of natural flavour when compared to your bog-standard potato variety. There are so many different types of vegetable to choose from: sweet potato, beetroot, parsnip, carrot, butternut squash... something for everybody's taste buds. Again, as with the lentil recipe, you can toy around with any number of flavourings, sprinkling paprika over your selected veg, maybe choosing chilli powder to add a kick, or just going with good, old-fashioned sea salt with maybe a pinch of black pepper.

First things first: choose your veg. I personally like the flavours of beetroot, parsnip and sweet potato, but choose what you think you'll enjoy most.

Pre-heat your oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Whilst waiting for the oven to heat, peel your vegetables and thinly slice. They really need to be wafer thin, so if you have a mandolin use that. If not, cut into the vegetable at an angle with a very sharp knife, as this will give you the purchase you need to get the slices really thin. You can also use a vegetable peeler and create long strips or spirals for a decorative feel.

Place the slices onto some kitchen towel and press out as much excess water as you can, being careful not to damage them.

Place the slices in a mixing bowl and coat with a tablespoon of olive oil and whatever seasoning you are going with. I usually go with simple sea salt. Get your hands in there to ensure all the slices are evenly coated.

Lay out the slices on a baking tray in a single layer. Place in the oven for roughly 15-20 minutes, flipping them over about half way. Keep an eye on them though, depending on your oven they may cook at a different pace. Paler vegetables turning a deep golden brown is a good indication that they are done. It can be harder tot ell with darker veg.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and place on more kitchen towel to cool.

Remember, if you are using veg such as carrots, they are likely to need a lot less time than some of their hardier cousins, so please keep a watchful eye on the oven.

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