Roasting roots on a bed of spiced salt intensifies the vegetables’ flavour and brings a touch of theatre to the table. The salt doesn’t have to go to waste afterwards, it can be re-used as a seasoning, or even to bake more roots. A smoky yogurt dressing sets off the sweet veg beautifully.
Salt and coriander roast roots with smoky yogurt
Serves 6-8 with salad
3kg rock salt*
Finely grated zest of two unwaxed lemons, plus 1 tbsp juice
4 tbsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
Handful of thyme sprigs, plus thyme leaves to serve
1.5kg baby or small root vegetables in their scrubbed skins, such as multi-coloured beetroots, multi-coloured carrots, parsnips, orange and purple sweet potatoes
300g mild Greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2-3 chipotle chillies in adobo, crushed, or 2 tsp chipotle paste
1⁄2 tsp hot smoked paprika
Cold pressed oil (olive, hemp, rapeseed, pumpkin) to drizzle
Salad leaves, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/ Fan 180C/400F.
2 Combine the salt with the lemon zest, crushed coriander seeds and thyme sprigs. Spread half this mixture out across a very large roasting tin (or divide between two smaller tins). Nestle the roots into this mixture, making sure any larger ones aren’t touching to give the heat a chance to circulate. Spread the rest of the salt on top, mounding it up to cover every vegetable.
3 Roast in the oven for 50–60 minutes, until a skewer slides easily into even the largest root. Spoon the top layer of salt away, but keep the roots nestled in a bed of salt to serve (everyone can peel or split their own veg).
4 In a serving bowl combine the yogurt with the crushed garlic and lemon juice, and season with ground black pepper. Swirl in the chipotle and dust with paprika. Drizzle with the cold-pressed oil, shower with thyme leaves and serve alongside the roots and salad leaves.
Recipe from The New Vegetarian by Alice Hart (Square Peg); photography by Emma Lee
* Yes, really that much...