“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.
Painstakingly captured in photos….
Like this recipe he sent me:
JOHN’S RELIABLE ROOT RECIPE
“First, Locate and gather a selection of your favourite Root Vegetables . . .
Then Select a Nice Covered Baking Dish . . .
Take the Lid Off . . .
And see What Fits into the Dish . . .
Then Empty the Dish, Rinse it with Water to remove any Dirt . . .
Begin with the Onions, which are essential . . .
Peel, and Cut . . .
Dice . . .
And into the Dish they go . . .
Three Diced Ontario Onions . . .
(From Prince Edward County) . . .
Next the Ontario Sweet Potatoes . . .
Cut the Ends off . . .
Peel . . .
Dice . . .
Add & Mix by Hand . . .
Two Ontario Parsnips are Next . . .
Lop the Ends off & Peel . . .
Cut into Rings . . .
Add & Mix into the Dish . . .
Next up are Three Ontario Carrots . . .
Ends Off . . .
Peel . . .
Cut into Rings . . .
Add to the Dish . .
Mix by Hand . . .
Two Wonderful Ontario Yellow Beets . . .
Lop the Ends off . . .
Quite Pretty . . .
Even the Ends Look Good . . .
Peel Carefully . . .
Cut into ¼’s and Slice . . .
Add Slices to the Dish . . .
Mix Again by Hand . . .
Next up, Two Ontario Potatoes . . .
Peel . . .
Cut into ¼’s and Slice . . .
Add to the Dish . . .
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 . . .
Pouring both into the Dish of Course . . .
Then add 1/3 Cup of Sesame Seed Oil . . .
Pouring it all over the top of the Vegetables . . .
Now for the Seasoning . . .
From my Salt Hen, 1 teaspoon of Salt . . .
And from my Pepper Mill, 1 teaspoon of Pepper . ..
Now Place the Lid on the Pretty Dish . . .
Turn the Oven on Bake & set the Temperature @ 350 Degrees . . .
Then Place the Covered Baking dish Into the Oven . . .
Close the Oven Door . . .
And Set the Timer for 90 Minutes . . .
Then Start the Timer . . .
Set another timer for 45 minutes . . .
And Start It Too . . .
At the 45 Minute Mark Remove the Dish with Oven Mitts . . .
Look Inside and Things should Look like this . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
I test them with a sharp knife . . .
Then Place the Lid On . . .
Wait for the Dish to Cool Down . . .
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!”
79 thoughts on “Idiot-Proof”
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. 🙂
Thanks for the faith. Why do you think I’m delaying? I’m afraid I’ll ruin that, too.
I bet it will taste great whether or not you prepare it perfectly. I like cooking more casually, based on what I have on hand, and not worrying about recipes, but that does preclude some things like baking! 🙂
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?
Methinks Floor is old. But I’ll ask John how old.
John says flooring is original. A beauty, eh?
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
I think John should write one. That, and an idiot-proof restoration book!
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.
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
Here’s a link to the inside in progress:
Love the recipe and mix of all root vegetables! so, you eat it cold?
No, you heat it up. He told me that, and I somehow missed it!
Ok! sounds Delicious! Thanks
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!
That sounds tasty, would go down well in the vegan house! 😊👏
It’s a beaut! Hope Scottish weather is treating you well. Around here, the outdoors is carpeted in white.
Yea I feel bad grumbling about the frost or few centimetres of snow when others have it by the metre. But it does look so wonderful! 😊⛄️❄️
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:).
It’s a great dish, Kay!
That sounds real easy, and tasty too!
Easy? For me, no dish is easy, Allen. But it is tasty!
Cynthia, thank you for a yummy and healthy recipe. Now I’ll go click on the link. I adore old houses.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀
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.
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. 😉
Aha! Takes a cook to think like that. I made my first try today – did all the chopping up…then chickened out and handed it to my husband to season and put in the oven. If it weren’t for cowardice, I’d be so courageous.
Chopping up is the hard part!
That’s what I’ll say from now on….-
Sounds delicious! We make a lot of one pot vegetable meals like that here. Great in winter!
They really are. This is the second recipe I got from John and they are both delicious.
Miam, it looks delicious.This dish looks like an Alsatian recipe : T-the “Baeckehoffe” (just one adds meat marinated in white wine )
That sounds delicieux, Christiane. My husband used red wine with his pot roast and it’s wonderful.
Yum! Love root vegetables!
Looks delicious! I need that as a side for my pot roast I’m preparing tonight! 😛
Tastes great with a pot roast, SK.
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!!
Oh, that sounds wonderful!
Mary, is the roasted tomato and basil soup simple to make? If it’s VERY simple, please send it here!
Will do – very simple and it was delicious. Still have probably 4 more bowls. I’ll send the recipe to you tomorrow, not a problem.
Hi Cynthia, the recipe is from http://www.Foodnetwork.com and is one from my favorite cook, Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten. Here is the link to the recipe. If you can’t open let me know, I have the recipe on a word document. It’s really delicious ~
Thank you, Mary. I have those ingredients here so that’s a good thing. One day when I feel courageous, I’ll make it and report on the outcome! Thanks again.
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?
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?
Exactly! though I couldn’t wait and ate some right away. I guess I’d have failed the marshmallow test, but I was very hungry and the dish smelled so good….
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.
Gee wiz: I did that a few times, but it was in the worst years after the car accident. So tell me, Young Man: what was your excuse?
I have developed a name for it: CDD, or Chronic Distracted Disorder. I’m thinking of writing a book, 7 Habits of Highly Distracted People.
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.
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.
Phew, glad about the heating before eating. Sounds wonderful 🙂
Tis wonderful indeed.
I love the instructions. I wonder why it needs to be chilled for 24 hours?
Just for the flavours to soak in.
But I had it right away – I was starved – and it was wonderful. The following day, the flavour was even nicer.
😆 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
That’s a good recommendation, right there, Elizabeth. Glad it made you laugh!
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 🙂
This sounds yummy! 🙂
Indeed! We had some this evening and it was delish.
Looks wonderful, great way to use up all those root vegetables I never know what to do with. Definitely will be trying!
It sure is a great way to use up the root veggies, Stephi. And such dishes are always welcome at this time of year.
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
A great idea, Tina. My husband used stock in his too, and it was yummy. I did it with just the water and sesame oil (and seasoning) and I loved it.
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.
Hooray! It is good, isn’t it?