roasted vegetables

quinoa, lentils, brown rice & roasted mini capsicums

7th April 2010

Over the last few weeks, since the weather has become cooler, I have been attempting to get my vegetable garden back into some sort of order.  Our Summer was a very hot one, so any seedlings that were planted quickly wilted and did not thrive.  Finally, I have been able to see some progress.  My first plucking of anything other than rocket or herbs has been these cute mini capsicums in orange, yellow and red.  They are just beginning to ripen in bunches that are perfect roasted whole.

I decided to use them in my ‘one pot’ rice and lentil dish.  Another variation on the dish I posted earlier this year.  A perfect dish when a ‘no fuss’ healthy dinner is the plan and there are limited supplies in the fridge/pantry.  This time, I roasted cubed pumpkin with the whole mini capsicums.  Cherry tomatoes would also be perfect, but I did not have any on hand.

brown rice quinoa lentils  & roasted vegetables

Any mixture of grains or lentils you have on hand can be used.  I used 1 cup of grains to ½ cup lentils, then nearly double the water.  I would not use red lentils as they just go mushy – a lentil that stays whole when cooked works best.   Also, any nuts or combination of vegetables to roast would work nicely as well (cubed fresh beetroot, sweet potato, turnip, whole cherry tomatoes, cubed eggplant, zucchini).


½ cup brown rice

½ cup quinoa (white or red, or a mixture)

¼ cup brown lentils

¼ cup French green lentils

2¾ cup water

¼ pumpkin, peeled and cubed

handful whole mini capsicums or a large one, in chunks

1 tsp fennel seeds

juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp olive oil (or oil from labne)

3 – 4 heaped Tbsp labne (or drained Greek yoghurt/feta)

a generous handful of fresh continental parsley and basil leaves

2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted and lightly smashed

salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

2.  Rinse rice, quinoa and lentils and place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with water.  Bring to a gentle boil, and return to simmer.  Cover and leave undisturbed until all water has evaporated, about 20 – 30 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, toss pumpkin and capsicum in a sprinkling of olive oil and the fennel seeds and place in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Bake until edges begin to brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.

4.  When water has absorbed into the rice mixture, fluff with a fork, then add lemon juice and olive oil.  Mix in well and add roasted vegetables, labne, herbs, pine nuts.

5.  Season with salt and pepper and serve either warm or cold.

 Goodness shared from Donna

roasted cherry tomato

16th June 2009


After last season’s disastrous tomato crop, this year I went overboard with my seed plantings.  And, of course, they all thrived, so I now have enormous crops of cherry and Roma cherry tomatoes. I have been going out each morning, patiently watching the bunches turn from apple-green, orange and finally to that deep, dark red that lets us all know there is true flavour inside. Thankfully the little treasures have not all chosen to ripen at once, so I have been able to pluck off the odd handful.



Today’s picking was impressive, so after passing off some to my in-laws, a bunch was the highlight of this dish.  Roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini, chiogga beetroot, fennel, sweet potato, roasted with fresh garden herbs and fetta, finished off with a basil and pine nut dressing. Pumpkin would have been better instead of the sweet potato, but I used mostly what came from the garden, with exception of sweet potato. Roasting the tomatoes brings out a stronger, intense flavour, and being so small they don’t smother the other vegetables.


roasted cherry tomatoes & vegetable assortment with a basil & pine nut dressing

The amounts I have approximated, as I usually just throw in a handful/pinch/dash, so it is never quite the same each time. I always use a good extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil for my roasting and dressings. For this recipe, I used 1 zucchini, 1 sm. sweet potato, ¼ beetroot, ¼ fennel bulb – enough for 1 – 2.


Approx. 12 whole cherry tomatoes

Assorted vegetables, in chunks (zucchini, pumpkin, fennel, beetroot, sweet potato, whatever on hand)

Handful of whole fresh herbs (I used 5 sage leaves, 3 sprigs thyme and 2 sprigs rosemary)

generous splash of olive oil

Maldon or similar sea salt

100g feta, cubed


1.  Preheat oven to 200C.

2.  Toss all vegetables in one layer in an ovenproof dish with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and add herbs.

3.  Bake for 30 – 40 min., stirring occasionally. Halfway through, add feta. Cook when veggies are tender and tomatoes are flattened.  If the bottom of dish begins to char, that’s fine.

4.  Serve with 2 – 3 tsp. of dressing drizzled over.  Sprinkle extra torn/whole basil leaves.

basil & pine nut dressing

1.  Toast approx. 2 tsp pine nuts in a small pan.

2.  Smash lightly in mortar and pestle with 5 torn basil leaves.

3.  Whisk in 1 tab. extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp honey (mixed with a little hot water ).  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Shared goodness from Donna

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