Idiot-Proof

“John”, I asked, “Can you send me one of your simplest recipes?”

“Yes, of course,” John replied. “As long as you’re fine with vegetarian. That’s what I cook.”

“I’ll cook anything, as long as it’s idiot-proof.”

I’d forgotten John’s famous attention to detail, evident in the grand home he’s restoring in Prince Edward County.

Blog Photo - Picton House Exterior 2

Painstakingly captured in photos….

Blog Photo - John's living room with sofa

Like this recipe he sent me:

JOHN’S RELIABLE ROOT RECIPE

“First, Locate and gather a selection of your favourite Root Vegetables . . .

Blog Photo - Root Vegetables1

Then Select a Nice Covered Baking Dish . . .

Take the Lid Off . . .

And see What Fits into the Dish . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Root veggies in dish unpeeled

Then Empty the Dish, Rinse it with Water to remove any Dirt . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Dish and Veggies

Begin with the Onions, which are essential . . .

Peel, and Cut . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Onions sliced

Dice . . .

And into the Dish they go . . .

Three Diced Ontario Onions . . .

(From Prince Edward County) . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Onions in dish

Next the Ontario Sweet Potatoes . . .

Cut the Ends off . . .

Peel . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - sweet potatoes sliced

Dice . . .

Add & Mix by Hand . . .

Two Ontario Parsnips are Next . . .

Lop the Ends off & Peel . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Parsnips peeled

Cut into Rings . . .

Add & Mix into the Dish . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Parsnips sliced

Next up are Three Ontario Carrots . . .

Ends Off . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Carrots unpeeled

Peel . . .

Cut into Rings . . .

Add to the Dish . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - carrots sliced

Mix by Hand . . .

Two Wonderful Ontario Yellow Beets . . .

Lop the Ends off . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Yellow Beets sliced and unsliced

Quite Pretty . . .

Even the Ends Look Good . . .

Peel Carefully . . .

Cut into ¼’s and Slice . . .

Add Slices to the Dish . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Yellow beets in dish

Mix Again by Hand . . .

Next up, Two Ontario Potatoes . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Potatoes Unpeeled

Peel . . .

Cut into ¼’s and Slice . . .

Add to the Dish . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - sliced Potato

Note that the Level of the Root Vegetables . . .

Is Level with the Rim of the Pretty Dish . . .

Mix by hand One More time . . .

Add 2 Cups of Cold Water . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Mixed vegetables in dish

Pouring both into the Dish of Course . . .

Then add 1/3 Cup of Sesame Seed Oil . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Oil pouring on veggies

Pouring it all over the top of the Vegetables . . .

Now for the Seasoning . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Salt Hen

From my Salt Hen, 1 teaspoon of Salt . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Black pepper mill

And from my Pepper Mill, 1 teaspoon of Pepper . ..

Now Place the Lid on the Pretty Dish . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Veggies in dish with seasonings

Turn the Oven on Bake & set the Temperature @ 350 Degrees  . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Oven shows temperature

Then Place the Covered Baking dish Into the Oven . . .

Close the Oven Door . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - dish in oven

And Set the Timer for 90 Minutes . . .

Then Start the Timer . . .

Set another timer for 45 minutes . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Phone set for 45

And Start It Too . . .

At the 45 Minute Mark Remove the Dish with Oven Mitts . . .

Look Inside and Things should Look like this . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Dish after 45 minutes

Make sure there is still some water in the dish!!

Then Place the Covered Dish Back into the Oven . . .

Then 40 or so later come back into the Kitchen . . .

Notice the Primary Timer is Nearly Done . . .

When it Sounds Off . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - dish and Gloves 2

Remove the Dish and Place it on a Heat Friendly Surface . . .

Take the Cover Off and it should look like this . . .

The Vegetables should be cooked and just a bit soft . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - root Veggies done

I test them with a sharp knife . . .

Then Place the Lid On . . .

Wait for the Dish to Cool Down . . .

Blog Photo - Recipe - Dish and Gloves3

And Place it into Refrigerator . . .

Then in 24 Hours it’s Ready to Eat . . .

It is Sooooooooooooo  Good . . .”

Thank you, John!  This idiot will report back.

Photos and recipe by John Garside.

Postscript from John: “Heat it up before eating! I forgot that!” 

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79 Comments

Filed under A Good Home, Cooking, Ontario Root Vegetables, Recipes, Vegetarian dish

79 responses to “Idiot-Proof

  1. Looks delicious and very precise. I’d love to eat it, but I’ll leave the recipe to you and John. My cooking is a lot more casual. Please send samples. 🙂

  2. That sounds good. I’d probably add mixed herbs too. And maybe veg stock. Don’t know. Right now I’m faffing with potatoes, mushrooms, onions. Got to love those iPhone timers. I use mine for pressure cooking beans all the time (set to Marimba).

    His house looks nice. If it was British I’d say it was Victorian. Must show the pic to decorating Partner. Lovely deep skirtings. Flooring is new though isn’t it?

  3. Stunning home! Idiot proof recipe-perfect for me! Golden beets–pretty dish ,too:-) Thank you for sharing-will be saving this one:-) Thank you:-) IS there an Idiot proof Recipe book???LOL

  4. leeMck

    So pretty. Almost too pretty to eat! Love the colors. As a veggie lover I will have to try this recipe. Though I don’t recall ever seeing yellow beets. Is there a substitute?

    • I’ll ask John.
      We grew them this year and they are delicious. In supermarkets, but the large ones can be expensive, so opt for smaller ones till they become popular and the price comes down.

  5. Lovely home, would like to see more of the inside! The recipe steps are methodical and logical, looks very delicious!! I like using the fingerling potatoes in a recipe like this, they add the extra flavor. When are you trying the recipe? Enjoy your Sunday! Michael

  6. Love the recipe and mix of all root vegetables! so, you eat it cold?

  7. MMMMmm, love the veg! My husband says I am a conceptual cook, so undoubtedly something else would happen to this if I cooked it!

    • But at least that sounds like you can cook. Very good! I made cauliflower with cheese this summer and wondered why it tasted so boring. Turns out, I forgot the cheese!

      • And a few weeks ago I made a cake and forgot to add the beaten egg. Wondered why the cake wasn’t well-risen until I figured out what I had forgotten.

      • Hah! thank you for that. Misery likes company. Though cakes use several ingredients, and mine only called for about 3 or 4! Did you use it as a doorstop?

      • No, I wrestled with the temptation to throw it out but eventually decided it was still edible, warmed up and with a dollop of rhubarb fool on top. How about making a fool? They are almost fool proof. 😉 By the way did you get my email with my details for the giveaway from Lauren?

      • Sounds like a great save.

        Yes, I did. thanks for entering!

  8. That sounds tasty, would go down well in the vegan house! 😊👏

  9. It’s a tribute to you and your fellow home restorers that when I see your posts, it makes me want to pare down and go all simple. Make a home. Fix a dinner. Read a book. This one also made me hungry, though:).

  10. Cynthia, thank you for a yummy and healthy recipe. Now I’ll go click on the link. I adore old houses.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  11. Thank-you for this tasty recipe – and thank your friend John too! I have seen yellow beets in the shops here but haven’t tried them yet. I presume they taste similar to beetroot? A good meal to prepare for days when you haven’t much time for cooking – just get home, heat it up and eat! This recipe really does look idiot-proof. Go on, Cynthia – be brave and cook it and then tell us how you got on. I DARE YOU!

    • You would, wouldn’t you? Yikes, Clare. Don’t you know I’m a culinary coward? Anyway, I’ve made a good start today, but left it to our resident chef to season up, etc.

      Yellow beets are great-tasting, and they don’t run their colour the way red beets do. Though, I’ve found that roasting red beets in the oven makes them sweeter, and they don’t run as much as when they are boiled. I use beets in all kinds of SIMPLE dishes, including salads.

      • I love roast beets! I knew you’d rise to the challenge and I am sure, even without the aid of the talented resident chef, you’d be able to do this one. I am tempted to have a go myself, though Elinor is a definite carnivore and I’d have to provide meat for her.

  12. Yellow beets look wonderful. And, yes, have a go. If it doesn’t turn out as you expect you can always puree it into soup. 😉

  13. Sounds delicious! We make a lot of one pot vegetable meals like that here. Great in winter!

  14. Miam, it looks delicious.This dish looks like an Alsatian recipe : T-the “Baeckehoffe” (just one adds meat marinated in white wine )

  15. Ann Moser

    Yum! Love root vegetables!

  16. Looks delicious! I need that as a side for my pot roast I’m preparing tonight! 😛

  17. Great post – so funny, but looks delicious. I want to get in there and get it done – he’d laugh if he saw me today making homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread (LOL) – vegetable skins and flour dust everywhere!!

  18. Karen

    I’ve never tried yellow beets. The recipe is easy enough for me and it sounds tasty. I wonder why you have to chill it for 24 hours?

  19. We adore oven roasted winter vegetables. I’m sure I’d love your “Ontario vegetables” recipe…especially because it’s “Reliable,” but guess it’d be delicious with New Hampshire vegetables, too. The 24-hour refrigeration must meld the flavors, yes?

  20. Idiot proof depends on just how big your household idiot is. And I say that as someone who turned the heat on under a pot of water for spaghetti but forgot to put in the water. That was the end of one pot.

  21. Well, it sounds good. I would add some herbs and well flavoured stock.
    I like the way the recipe is written as if for someone who has heard about cooking, but has never actually come across an oven.

    • Yes, Chloris. Someone like me… almost! My husband is as skilled as you, so he added rosemary and thyme and stock, but I will not take any chances till I’ve tried this recipe a few times. My cowardice knows no bounds.

      • Well to be absolutely honest, I might speak with great authority about herbs and stock but in actual fact I never , ever cook anything. I haven’ t cooked for years. I have a live- in, very talented and enthusiastic chef.

  22. I have a live-in, very talented and enthusiastic chef too, but do you notice how it didn’t occur to me to add herbs and stock, whereas it immediately occurred to you? So I think you’re a real chef at heart, Chloris.
    But: I am back to making my own stock. Saves money, tastes better and I feel very accomplished too.

  23. Phew, glad about the heating before eating. Sounds wonderful 🙂

  24. Karen

    I love the instructions. I wonder why it needs to be chilled for 24 hours?

  25. 😆 Oh my gosh, you made me laugh this morning, Cynthia. And BTW, that’s one of my favorite dishes although I vary the vegetables from time to time. Delicious and looks as good as it tastes. xo

  26. Looks delicious and so pretty! I will have to share this with my hubby–he is the chef in the house because I cannot even make a decent piece of toast 🙂

  27. Looks wonderful, great way to use up all those root vegetables I never know what to do with. Definitely will be trying!

  28. I love love love root vegetables. What a beautiful bakeware dish and wonderful pictures! When I make this, I may use my homemade chicken stock in place of water. YUM

  29. Karen Pickering

    I made the recipe just as is. It was marvelous. My skeptical husband had three servings. I then fried up some of the leftovers and served with eggs for breakfast. Even more amazing! Thank you again for this.

  30. Pingback: Idiot-Proof Comfort Food | Cynthia Reyes

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