Friday, July 30, 2010

Roasted Summer Veg

This was too delicious, and too easy not to pass along. I served the veg over some pasta with a little extra olive oil and salt drizzled on the spaghetti. I added a fried egg for protein and flavor (love my backyard hens!) and served along with a cucumber salad. Warm and earthy, cool and crisp - a great combo indeed.

For the cucumber salad:
  • Several diced cucumbers
  • Splash white vinegar
  • Handful fresh lemon basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, chilly powder
  • Pinch sunflower seeds (without shells)
  • Optional cream cheese or sour cream
Just chop, mix, chill.

For the roasted veg. Seriously, this is so easy and delicious PLEASE make it at least once this summer!

  • Several small asian type eggplants, halved and diced in 1/4 inch wedges
  • As many tomatoes as you have on hand - i used some had already been roasted for an hour, and some others fresh. 
  • 2 serranos diced
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • Salt, pepper, genovese basil
  • Olive oil
Cut the veg, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings - toss to mix and spread out on a pan. I used our toaster oven to save on heat. The amount of veg that just covered the pan inside the toaster oven made just the right amount for the two of us. Roast the veg at 425 for about half an hour, or until things are sizzly to your satisfaction. Stir occasionally, and be sure the eggplants don't burn.

The flavor! Oh, the flavor! Buttery garlic bites, earthy eggplant bites, rich tomato bites, and nutty olive oil flavor infused throughout.  You could puree this into a sauce if you wanted, but i like having individual bites. This could be used as bruschetta topping, mixed with cooked quinoa to make a slammin main course pilafy dish, top pasta as i did or even use as a pizza topping. Options are endless, and the effort is minimal - just some chopping and waiting for the oven. Ideal, i tell you - ideal!

Summer is a season we wait for all Winter. Wait for the eggplants, tomatoes, and whatever else we look forward to growing. We also tend to look forward to specific dishes we like to make and have made plenty of times before - but don't let the 'same old' dish you're used to making limit you. Experiment, try new methods, increase your nutrient consumption variety, open your tastebuds to new things, don't get stuck in a rut! Enjoy the variety of summer's bounty and combine it in some new ways this year. It may be hot outside, but i'm sure glad i turned on the oven to make this deliciousness!

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