In the culinary world, where trends often lean toward the exotic and the extraordinary, there’s a quiet rebellion happening. Root vegetables, the unsung heroes of the kitchen, are staging a comeback. The Cumin and Potato Stottie and the Vegetable Lecso are leading the charge in this delicious revolution, proving that humble ingredients can create extraordinary flavors.
The Return of Root Vegetables
Root vegetables have long been overshadowed by their more glamorous counterparts. But recently, they’ve been making a triumphant return to our plates. It’s a return to simplicity, a celebration of the earth’s bounty, and a nod to the deep, comforting flavors that only root vegetables can provide.
Embracing the Ordinary
In a world of culinary extravagance, there’s something beautiful about embracing the ordinary. Root vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, and turnips, remind us of the basics, urging us to find joy in simplicity.
Root vegetables are incredibly versatile. They can be roasted to caramelized perfection, mashed into creamy goodness, or incorporated into hearty stews. Their adaptability makes them ideal for a wide range of dishes.
Cumin and Potato Stottie – A Flavorful Duo
The Cumin and Potato Stottie is a shining example of how root vegetables can take center stage. It’s a sandwich that marries the earthy, comforting flavors of potatoes with the warmth and depth of cumin.
The Humble Hero: Potato
Potatoes, when treated with care, can be a revelation. In this sandwich, they’re boiled, mashed, and seasoned with cumin to create a filling that’s both hearty and aromatic.
The Magic of Cumin
Cumin, with its nutty, peppery flavor, elevates the potatoes to a whole new level. It adds a layer of complexity that transforms this simple sandwich into a culinary delight.
Vegetable Lecso – A Hearty Hungarian Stew
The Vegetable Lecso is another champion for root vegetables, hailing from Hungary. It’s a hearty stew that showcases the robust flavors of root vegetables alongside peppers and tomatoes.
Root Vegetable Medley
In the Vegetable Lecso, root vegetables like carrots and parsnips share the stage with bell peppers and tomatoes. Together, they create a symphony of flavors and textures.
Comfort in Every Bite
This stew is the embodiment of comfort food. It’s warm, filling, and redolent with the earthy notes of root vegetables. Each spoonful is a journey into the heart of Hungarian cuisine.
Root Vegetables: A Culinary Revival
The resurgence of root vegetables in the culinary world is a testament to the enduring appeal of simple, wholesome ingredients. In a world that often seeks the next big thing, these vegetables remind us that true culinary magic can be found in the most unassuming places.
A Return to Roots
Embracing root vegetables is not just a culinary choice; it’s a return to our roots. It’s a recognition that the foods that sustained our ancestors can still bring comfort and joy to our lives today.
Sustainable and Satisfying
Root vegetables are not only delicious but also sustainable. They are often locally sourced, reducing carbon footprints, and they are available year-round, making them a reliable and satisfying choice for every season.
The Cumin and Potato Stottie and the Vegetable Lecso are leading the charge in the revival of root vegetables. They demonstrate that even the most humble ingredients can shine when treated with care and creativity.
So, as you savor the earthy flavors of these dishes, take a moment to celebrate the resurgence of root vegetables in the culinary world. It’s a delicious revolution that reminds us of the beauty of simplicity, the magic of tradition, and the extraordinary potential of ordinary ingredients.
Cumin and Potato Stottie
This was inspired by Dan Lepard so uses his method for making bread. It sounds odd but it really works!
500g strong white flour
10g salt (table salt is fine)
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly roasted and crushed
300g warm water (I use 100g boiling to 200mls from the cold tap), but you may need more
300g cooked, finely mashed potato
7g dried active fast action yeast
1 spoon oil for the worksurface
Flour for rolling out and sprinkling
2 large baking trays
- Mix the flour with the salt and cumin seeds in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- Whisk the water with the mashed potato and yeast in another bowl then add to the flour.
- Stir with your hand or a dough scraper until soft and sticky. You may need to add more water at this point.
- Knead the dough for only 10 seconds on the worksurface into a round smooth ball. Clean and lightly oil the bowl.
- Return to the bowl and leave covered with a tea towel for 10 minutes.
- Remove the dough and knead again for 10 seconds before returning to the bowl and covering.
- Leave for 1 hour in a warm place until it has risen. (at this time of year it may take longer)
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll into tight round balls on a lightly floured worksurface. Flatten each disc down with your hand until it is about 12-13cm diameter. (the rolling into a ball is crucial for shape- if not sure see the flatbreads post and the tortilla rolling video for guidance)
- Put each disc onto a greased and well floured baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 45 -60 minutes until almost doubled in height (they don’t spread out much if rolled properly).
- Sift flour over the stotties generously and place a clean baking tray on the top.
- Bake in the oven centre for 30 minutes. (I set my oven to give 2 jets of steam in the first 10 minutes of cooking, but you can just spray the oven with water as they go in if you want, but it’s not vital)
- When cooked lift the upper tray and transfer with a spatula to a rack to cool down.
Root Vegetable Lecso
You can vary the quantities of roots as you have available to give around 1kg of root vegetables
1 tablespoon of oil-sunflower or groundnut is fine
2 medium onions halved and sliced finely
1 large (300g) sweet potato chopped into 1-2cm chunks
300g turnips chopped into 1-2cm chunks
5 medium carrots chopped into chunks
4 mixed red and green peppers chopped into large chunks
2 cans of tomatoes
1 tablespoon sweet paprika, smoked if possible
2 teaspoons hot paprika
1 teaspoon chipotle chilli paste
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper
creme fraiche or soured cream to serve
- Heat the oil in a large lidded pan and cook the onions over a low heat for 5 minutes until softening.
- Add the root vegetables and the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the peppers, paprika, chipotle chilli paste and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook over a medium heat for around 30-40 minutes with the lid half on on stirring occasionally. The vegetables are done when the roots just yield to the point of a knife and the mixture looks like a winter version of ratatouille.
- Check for further salt and pepper and serve.
- As with goulash you can add a swirl of creme fraiche or soured cream plus extra paprika sprinkled on the top.