Thursday, September 6, 2012

Easy Roasted Summer Vegetables

Here's a "throw cooking" idea that will work with all sorts of summer vegetables, including squashes, tomatoes (smaller ones in particular), sweet peppers, hot peppers (in moderation unless you're a serious heat addict), onions, celery, carrots and more. I threw in a big handful of peeled garlic cloves in with the raw veggies because I love the flavor of roasted garlic.

Roasting is a great way to cook up an overabundance of produce, because you can refrigerate the leftovers and then use them in everything from omelets and scrambled eggs to sandwiches, pasta and rice dishes. I like to toss leftover roasted vegetables with a little balsamic vinegar and serve them over a salad in lieu of a salad dressing. After making these earlier in the week, I used some of the leftovers along with some leftover cooked chicken in a risotto for a simple one-bowl meal later in the week.

The only work involved is the peeling of any vegetables that require it, e.g., onions and carrots, and then chopping the vegetables into sizes that will result in all of them being done at the same time. My carrot chunks were no more than 1/2" thick, while my celery chunks were larger and I left the garlic cloves and grape tomatoes uncut. I set my oven to preheat at 425°F and then began peeling and chopping, placing the prepped vegetables directly into my large Pyrex glass baking dish. After tossing in the garlic cloves, I generously drizzled everything with olive oil and used a large spoon to stir and gently toss the vegetables until they were all coated with the oil and the bottom of the pan was also lightly coated. I then seasoned with some fresh rosemary, a light sprinkling of sea salt (you can use Kosher salt or regular table salt) and several twists from my pepper mill. If you're feeling feisty, you can add some red pepper flakes, too. You can also use other fresh herbs instead of or in addition to the rosemary, e.g., thyme, oregano, basil, etc., or use dried herbs if you don't have fresh.

Maverick Voice Alert Remote Oven Thermometer and Timer
Remote Oven Thermometer & Timer
Once the oven was ready, I placed the baking dish on the middle rack to roast at 425°F and set the oven timer to 20 minutes. When the timer buzzed, I removed the pan from the oven to stir the vegetables so as to ensure even roasting, and based on how they looked I decided to roast for an additional 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, which types and how many veggies you're roasting, and how you like them done, you might want to roast them longer or proclaim them ready to eat after just 20 minutes.

When the roasted vegetables are finished cooking, you can serve them as a side dish, or tossed with cooked pasta, or in a quesadilla or wrap, perhaps combined with some shredded or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, crumbled feta cheese, or even with a few splashes of a straightforward hot sauce like Texas Pete, Tabasco Sauce, or a classic cayenne pepper sauce like Gator Hammock.

How do you enjoy your roasted vegetables? Leave a comment to let us know.

Zestfully yours,

No comments:

Post a Comment