You know those times when your fridge is filled with stuff, but you can’t seem to find how to get it all to fit together? I get this a lot as a food blogger – I have loads of random vegetables left over from various recipes, and I have to figure out how to use them all up. Usually this is in something like a stir fry, frittata or stew, but I now have a new favourite fridge-clearing recipe: vegetable crumble!
I really mean it, too: all these vegetables were left over from other recipes that I’ve posted in the last week or two. You might recognise the broccoli and spinach from my creamy vegetable soup, the cherry tomatoes from my halloumi tacos with mango salsa, and the artichokes from my veggie pasta. My fridge is now purged and ready to refill with something new.
You can switch up the recipe depending on exactly what vegetables you have to use up, or what is in season (remember that particularly hard vegetables might need to be part-boiled beforehand). However, I’m pretty happy to stick with the selection I used – they made a great combination! The artichokes, tomatoes and spinach ended up giving a slightly Mediterranean feel, and the chickpeas bulked it out with some protein to help fill you up.
And the crumble… ohhhh, the crumble. I can’t believe how much flavour just one spoonful of pesto added! Together with the crispy bits of cheese that formed around the edges, this topping is just incredible. I can’t actually figure out which I preferred – the buttery, crumbly topping, or the creamy vegetable mixture. It all works together so well!
By the way, I know the recipe looks long (really, really long), but don’t be put off. There are a few elements to this recipe – the vegetables, the sauce, the topping – but they’re each really simple, and then it’s just a case of putting them together. It’s actually really easy!
What do you have in the fridge that you’d stick in this vegetable crumble? Or would you leave it as it is?
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 100 g broccoli cut into small florets
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 75 g sweetcorn kernels
- 100 g cherry tomatoes halved
- 80 g marinated artichoke hearts roughly chopped
- 150 g cooked chickpeas
- 50 g spinach roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh chives chopped
- 20 g butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour heaped
- 150 ml milk
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- Black pepper
- 35 g butter
- 50 g plain flour
- 30 g rolled oats
- 60 g cheddar cheese grated
- 1 tbsp basil pesto
Begin by preparing the vegetable mixture. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the garlic, broccoli and red onion. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, and then add the sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas, spinach and chives. Cook for a couple more minutes until the spinach has wilted, and then set aside.
Next, make the sauce. Melt the 20g of butter in a saucepan, and turn the heat down low. Add 1 heaped tablespoon of flour, and whisk into the butter. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to cook the flour. Then add the milk about 50ml at a time, whisking until smooth before adding a little more. When you have added all the milk and the sauce is smooth, add the stock, and stir again to combine. Season generously with black pepper.
Add the vegetables to the sauce, and mix to combine. Set aside.
At this point, heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Finally, make the crumble topping. Rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the oats, grated cheese and pesto, and mix thoroughly until the pesto is evenly distributed.
Transfer the vegetables and sauce to a baking dish, and add the crumble topping. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the topping is crispy and the sauce is bubbling.