Here's a tray of the old favourites for Christmas day – pumpkin and sweet potato – roasted, yes, but flavoured with preserved lemon and thyme, cooked ahead, and dressed with a tangy dressing. Gorgeous.
Free up your oven by doing your 'roasties' ahead!
2 wedges preserved lemon Flaky sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp thyme leaves 2 Tbsp olive oil 3 (about 700g) skinny red-fleshed kumara (sweet potato), peeled and sliced 700-800g (1¼-1½) buttercup pumpkin, washed, cut into wedges, seeds removed 2 Tbsp lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp capers, drained, patted dry and chopped 1 Tbsp chopped shallot 1 Tbsp creamy mustard 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 1 cup small cherry tomatoes, halved ½ cup basil leaves
1 Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F). Rinse preserved lemon wedges under running water and dislodge and discard the flesh. Dry rind with paper towels and slice.
2 Put 1 teaspoon sea salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste, thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons olive oil and preserved lemon in a large bowl. Add kumara and pumpkin and toss to coat with the dressing. Line a large shallow roasting tin with baking (parchment) paper and pile in the vegetables, spreading them out to one layer as much as possible. Scrape in all the oily flavourings.
3 Roast for 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn slices carefully. Return to oven and cook for a further 15 minutes, until just tender. Cool for 30 minutes.
4 Whisk lemon oil and juice, capers, chopped shallot, mustard, garlic and ½ teaspoon of sea salt together. Scatter vegetables with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. Rewhisk dressing and drizzle over salad. Serve immediately.
If you wish to make this ahead, don’t bundle the hot cooked vegetables into a deep bowl, because they will steam and soften. Let them cool, then transfer to a shallow dish that will hold the vegetables in one layer as much as possible, and pour dressing over. Bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer to a serving platter, add tomatoes and basil and spoon over any pooled dressing from the container.