*Or at least make it easier.
As much as we’d love to be the kind of people who knock out homemade pasta and fresh carrot top pesto (NGL, we’ve never even tasted it) on an average Tuesday night, by the time we’ve finished work, dished up a third meal destined to be abandoned by a difficult toddler and stared zombie-like at the contents of the fridge hoping for a culinary lightbulb moment, beans on toast suddenly has Michelin-star level appeal.
Yep, lockdown fatigue has well and truly kicked in on the cooking front, but at the same time, food feels like one of life’s few little pleasures right now. It possesses the power to break up the monotony of yet another ‘what day is it?’ week, envelop you in a comforting hug when you can’t get one from friends and family and nourish you when you need it most. We’d just prefer that food to be ready in an hour max, call for easy-to-find ingredients (Ottolenghi, we love you, but no-one’s got time for preserved lemons on a Monday night) and ideally, require minimal clearing up.
Well, you can have your cake (or in this case, one-dish dinner) and eat it too thanks to Rukmini Iyer and her collection of game-changing Roasting Tin cookbooks. The series, which began with The Roasting Tin in 2017 and now includes The Green Roasting Tin, The Quick Roasting Tin and The Roasting Tin Around the World, has sold over half a million copies, and she’s set to launch a fifth, The Green Barbecue: Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes to Cook Outdoors and In, this April.
The premise is genius in its simplicity – one-dish dinners that let the oven do the hard work – and it’s getting us through lockdown. The Roasting Tin covers meat, fish and veg, The Green Roasting Tin is divided into veggie and vegan options, The Quick Roasting Tin’s meals are on the table in 30 minutes and The Roasting Tin Around the World makes faraway flavours a midweek reality. According to Iyer, the recipes are “designed to work as stand-alone dinners, needing nothing more than a grain or some greenery for a full meal unless they’re already incorporated into the dish”, and there are plenty of indulgent dessert options too. The OG and Green roasting tin books have become our lockdown go-to’s, and we’re yet to try a Roasting Tin recipe that doesn’t taste as good as it looks in the drool-worthy images. Plus, because they’re so ridiculously easy to make, you won’t even care if the kids turn their nose up. That just means more lunch leftovers for you.
Not only do the technicolour Roasting Tin cookbooks look pretty on your kitchen shelf, starting at £10 a book, you get some serious bang for your buck. Iyer has a few recipes on her website if you fancy trying before you buy, as does The Happy Foodie, and we thought we’d share the Roasting Tin triumphs that have become a part of our recipe repertoire. Trust us, once you go one-dish, you’ll never go back.
Chocolate Apple Brioche Pudding from The Roasting Tin; “The ultimate lazy Sunday afternoon pudding, this combo of chocolate brioche and apples is absolutely heavenly and guaranteed to satisfy that post-roast sugar craving.”
Crispy Gnocchi With Roasted Peppers, Chilli and Ricotta from The Green Roasting Tin: “You cannot go wrong with gorgeous, crispy roast gnocchi. I often sub our the ricotta for crumbled feta and it is just wonderful. I’m always excited for leftovers the next day.”
Spicy Harissa Sprouts, Broccoli, Halloumi and Spinach from The Green Roasting Tin: “Who knew halloumi and sprouts were a match made in heaven? I eat it with grains and yoghurt, but I know Hannah loves it with flatbreads and hot sauce. It’s one we both come back to again and again.”
All-in-One Steam-roasted Salmon & Broccoli with Lime, Ginger, Garlic & Chilli from The Roasting Tin: “Rich salmon, fresh broccoli and a punchy lime, ginger and peanut dressing: nothing makes me happier than a healthy dinner that still delivers some serious flavour.”
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