Grapefruit Glazed Roasted Roots with Quinoa and Almonds

P1150981Let’s not forget about the supporting acts. It’s easy in the advent of the silly season to get swept away with the main players. But let’s not forget about those on the side who pull everything together. I’m not just talking about you- the one who remembers to buy the paper napkins and sticky tape and empties the glasses from the dishwasher while everyone else is napping or hotly debating cultural relativism at the dining table .

I’m talking about the side dishes. The things that sit alongside your glazed ham, whole pink fish or bronzed turkey and help feed the masses.

Certainly, you could keep it plain and simple with limpid steamed vegetables and unadorned roast starches (you could also just spend Christmas day in your pyjamas binging on back to back Netflix and refuse to participate in any of the gaiety).

But let’s not. Let’s reach a little higher. Let’s play with some slow carbohydrates and spices and get busy with citrus. Let’s make a  quirky, crunchy side which helps fill your table with things that are worth celebrating.

In this day and age there’s every chance that you’re going to have at least one gluten free/ vegan at your gathering.  And really, Christmas is about kindness. So be kind to those who can’t eat everything and think of them too. Be kind to yourself and cook a side dish which is virtually indestructible and tastes just as good at room temperature as it does warm.

And be good to those who remember to buy the sticky tape.

(Nb if this one doesn’t take your fancy, here are some other ideas from the archives for Christmas sides).

Christmas Side Inspiration

Pea, Fennel, Mint and Parmesan Salad. You could also substitute the peas for popped edamame and it would be delightful. Recipe here
Roast Sweet Potato with Brown Butter and Yoghurt. Recipe here
Festive Stuffed Mushrooms (These work as canapes, but also work well as a larger portions as a stuffing for portobello mushrooms). Recipe here
Baked Savoury Apples These would be an excellent side dish to roast pork. Recipe here (and also in ‘Cut the Carbs’)
Tomato, Sweet Pickled Onion and Tarragon Salad. This is lovely with any red meats, but would also work well in a summer Christmas with ham or roast turkey. Recipe here.
Perfect Herbed Potato Salad Recipe here


Grapefruit Glazed Roasted Roots with Quinoa and Almonds


Serves four as part of a complement of sides – doubles and triples easily

12 Dutch carrots, trimmed and cleaned, some of the tops reserved, or parsnips, quartered
1 medium pink grapefruit (or regular grapefruit)
3 tbsp honey (or rice malt syrup)
20 g butter (or coconut oil)
1 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
¾ cup cooked quinoa
1 handful almonds, roughly chopped

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2) Place the carrots in an ovensafe dish.

3) Zest half of the grapefruit and sprinkle the zest over the carrots.

4) Combine the juice of the grapefruit with the honey and butter in a saucepan. Simmer until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened.

5) Sprinkle the carrots with cumin and a little salt to taste. Pour the glaze over the carrots and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the carrots are cooked through.

6) Top the carrots with the cooked quinoa, chopped almonds and some of the carrot tops.

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