In a world which seems psychologically, ethically and emotionally challenging right now, simplicity is key wherever you can find it.
We are very happily working our way through Jamie Oliver’s wonderful “Five Ingredients’ cookbook, and I’m taking great pleasure in anything that involves next to no thought or decision making.
This traybake is simplicity at its best whilst also a celebration of the wonderful spring flavours that are bursting up around us.Serves 4
4 echalion shallots
400g baby new potatoes
8 chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic
A couple of sprigs of thyme and rosemary
2 large courgettes
For the Pesto Mayo
25g pine nuts
40g fresh basil leaves
25g finely grated parmesan
50ml olive oil
100g good quality mayonnaise Method
Preheat the oven to 180
Chop the shallots into quarters lengthwise and halve any larger baby potatoes. Put them into a large roasting dish, and nestle the chicken pieces in amongst the veg. Zest over the lemon, then cut it in half and squeeze over the juice. Bash the garlic and add the cloves to the dish, along with the herbs. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over several tablespoons of olive oil, before putting the dish into the oven to roast for 50 minutes.
Chop the courgettes into large chunks, remove any woody stalks from the asparagus, and add to the dish after the chicken has been in for 25 minutes – drizzling a little more oil over the veg.
While it’s cooking, make your pesto mayonnaise. Gently toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden. Put them into a food processor along with the basil, Parmesan and olive oil and whizz to a paste. Put the mayo into a serving bowl, top with a spoonful of the pesto and swirl together. (The remaining pesto will keep in the fridge for a few days to stir through pasta or make puff pastry pesto pizzas!)After 50 minutes check the potatoes are cooked through, then remove the dish from the oven. Dollop some blobs of the pesto into the serving dish and give it all a good stir around. Bring the dish to the table and dig in, with more pesto mayo on the side.