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Roasted Root Vegetables with Vino Cotto, Brussel Leaves and Hazelnuts

“Whenever possible I resist peeling vegetables, particularly when they are to be roasted, but I do realise that cooking is about detail and about what feels right. If the vegetables you buy aren’t shiningly fresh then I would peel them. If you find the sweet potato too sweet for your tastes drizzle over some extra lemon juice halfway through the roasting. I don’t hesitate to use my microwave to cook green vegetables, particularly Brussels sprouts. This dish is substantial enough to be enjoyed on its own, but also makes a lovely accompaniment to a roasted leg of lamb.”

NUTRITION Brussels sprouts are a revelation when cooked lightly and are rich in vitamins C and K, and folate.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220c (fan forced). Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place the sweet potato in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the thyme springs and a good pinch salt. Spread in a single layer on one of the lined trays and roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.
  3. At the same time, place the pumpkin in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Spread over another lined tray and bake for 30-40 minutes or until caramelised. During cooking, rotate the trays to ensure even colour or roast all the vegetables separately, if needed.
  4. Place the Brussel sprout in a microwave-safe container with 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stand with the lid on for 5 minutes to continue cooking through. Alternatively, cook the sprouts in lightly salted water for 4-5 minutes or until just tender. Drain, cool slightly and cut in half.
  5. For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small jar, then seal and shake to combine well.
  6. To serve, reheat the vegetables if necessary. Place in a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Gently toss, then place on a serving plate. Scatter with the hazelnuts and season, then serve immediately.