Monday, 26 September 2011

Autumnal Roast Vegetables


This is a great way to use up some of those wonderful zucchini and summer squash that are so plentiful this time of year. It is also the foundation for countless meals and snacks. Cooled and refrigerated, roast vegetables will keep for three to four days and they are one of the most natural, healthy fast foods I know. You can do so many things with them! Check out my recipe ideas at the bottom of this post. 
This is more a guide than a recipe, as the quantities and ingredients are very flexible. It is well worth making plenty as leftovers are so useful. I like to use red onions for their colour and flavour, but if you only have white or yellow onions there is no reason not to use them. Of course it really doesn’t matter what colour peppers you choose - just use what you have to hand or what is on special. If you like garlic, you can add that too.
For one large pan of roast vegetables you need:
(I always make two pans at once)
1 onion, red if possible
3 peppers (red, yellow, orange, green, whatever you have to hand)
2 medium zucchini and/or summer squash
2 to 3 cloves garlic (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
Preheat the oven to 375℉ or about 190℃ - I set my fan oven at 180℃.
De-seed and cut the peppers into chunks roughly one inch square. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise and then chop the halves into half moons about a quarter inch thick. Peel the onions and cut them in about eight pieces each. Then cut each piece in half and separate the layers. 
Put everything in a large roasting pan. Grate in the garlic, if using, and stir through the oil. 
Spread the vegetables out over the pan as evenly as you can. 
Roast the vegetables for thirty to forty minutes, stirring after 20 minutes. They are done when they have softened a bit and some are just beginning to slightly char around the edges. 
Roast vegetables make a great side dish just as they are, or try these recipe ideas. (Cool any leftover roast vegetables to room temperature and then store covered in the fridge for three to four days.)
Rice
Stir the vegetables into cooked rice along with a bit of butter, salt and pepper to taste.
Pasta
Cook some pasta according to package directions and add the vegetables along with tomato or pesto sauce.
A quick lunch or snack
Stuff toasted pita bread with hummus and cold roasted vegetables.  
Fajitas
Wrap the roast vegetables in warmed tortillas. Top with guacamole, grated vegetarian cheese, salsa and/or sour cream to taste. Roast vegetables can also be used in enchiladas, burritos and quesadillas.  If you like your fajitas spicy, add some Mexican seasoning to the vegetables with the oil before roasting.


Eggplant-free ratatouille
Warm a tin or two of drained chopped tomatoes (reserve the juice) in a saucepan and add some of the roasted vegetables.  Cook together until warmed through, adding a bit of the reserved liquid if you feel it needs it.

These ideas are only a beginning. Making a big pan (or two!) of roasted vegetables can be your ticket to several days of delicious, nutritious and easy meals.  Hot or cold, Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables are an easy, nutritious and delicious way to serve your family a variety of healthy vegetarian meals.

2 comments:

  1. I'm so excited to roast veggies this week. I'm buying a large bagful at the farmers market this week!

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  2. I am such a fan of roasted veggies like this. I am hoping for cooler weather soon so I can turn on the oven more often to make some!!

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