Cornbread with feta and roasted root vegetables
A comfort dish with such a rightness to it, you will be making this in various versions for ever. This one has feta in it and scattered over the surface, along with a jumble of roasted roots, sweetened with maple syrup. Choose a mixture of carrots, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, beetroot, celeriac, salsify – whatever is available.
For the cornbread
— butter, for greasing
— 70g plain flour
— pinch of baking powder
— pinch of bicarbonate of soda
— 50g soft brown sugar
— 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
— 2 sage leaves, chopped
— 90g polenta
— 180g sour cream
— 100g feta, crumbled
For the roasted vegetables To serve
— 2 tbsp melted butter — 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil — 1kg small root vegetables, or larger ones cut into
4 x 1cm sticks
— 4 sage leaves, chopped — 4 tbsp maple syrup — 200g feta, crumbled — chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley — chopped red chilli (optional) Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas mark 3½. Butter a 20cm ovenproof dish.
Sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then stir in the sugar, herbs, polenta, sour cream and egg. Season with salt and pepper, then fold in the feta.
Turn into the dish and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until puffed and pale gold. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
The vegetables can be cooked at the same time. Put the butter and oil into a roasting tin and add the vegetables and sage, tossing them to coat. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes then add the maple syrup for the final few minutes, turning them to coat.
To serve, throw the vegetables over the top of the hot cornbread, and scatter over the crumbled feta, parsley and chilli, if using.