Yewande Komolafe's Roasted Root Vegetables with Suya Spice Relish


4 to 6 servings

About 1 hour

Suya spice is generally used as a dry seasoning mix for skewered meats (it is a blend of ground ginger, chili powder and roasted peanut powder, and can be found in African markets or grocery stores, and online, of course). Beef or chicken is generously seasoned with the spice blend and charred over an open flame - a classic Nigerian street food. On hot nights, you can drive through Lagos and spot crowds around a hot grill, a grill master picking skewers off and trading them for cash. I use the seasoning mix on roasted vegetables, mixed into a quick relish of ginger, scallions and limes, and spooned over everything. Be sure to get a healthy amount of caramelization on the roasted vegetables. It is important for flavour! 


1 bulb garlic, halved crosswise
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 3-inch pieces
6 parsnips, halved lengthwise and cut into 3-inch pieces
8 small yellow golden beets, quartered (skin on, tops trimmed)
Salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
¼ cup olive oil
One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
2 cups sliced scallions
¼ cup minced shallots
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
¼ cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
½ cup unsalted peanuts, roasted and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Suya spice, plus more for topping (see headnote)
¼ cup mint leaves, picked
¼ cup basil leaves, picked
¼ cup parsley, leaves and tender stems


1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. 

2. Toss the garlic halves, carrots, parsnips and beets with the olive oil and season generously with salt and cracked pepper. Spread in an even layer on 2 baking sheets, being careful not to overcrowd. Roast until vegetables are tender and caramelized in spots, about 25 - 30 minutes.

3. Make the dressing while the vegetables are roasting. Grate the ginger into a medium bowl and add in the sliced scallions and shallots. Add in the lime juice and zest; stir to combine. Add in the grapeseed oil and press down gently on the mix to slightly crush the scallions. Stir in the suya spice and peanuts. When the vegetables are roasted, remove the garlic bulb and press out the roasted garlic cloves into the dressing. Stir to combine. 

4. While the vegetables are still warm, gently toss in a large bowl with half of the dressing, mint leaves, basil and parsley. Plate and top with the remaining dressing and a generous amount of the suya spice.