Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

Longing for a mid-winter taste of summer? I hear you. And my friend Karen's new cookbook Family Style: Shared Plates for Casual Feasts delivers one idea after another, including a big platter of barely roasted vegetables like eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini and onion that takes advantage of summer vegetables easily available during the cold months. And that's just the beginning ...

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables ♥ KitchenParade.com, barely roasted, big chunks meant for casual sharing. Vegan. WW Friendly. Low Carb.

Real Food, Fresh & Family-Tested. Hearty & Filling. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Great for Meal Prep. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

Friends with (Cookbook) Benefits.

When my friend Karen and I first met for coffee some umpteen years ago, we were both working in the food business but from different angles. Her claim to fame at the time was winning recipe contests, you know, the ones where winners take home cash prizes. She'd been a wine-seller. She'd launched a personal chef business. She'd cooked a suckling pig!

Me, I was all about helping home cooks. I shared recipes here at Kitchen Parade and adapted restaurant recipes for home kitchens for a column for the local newspaper. And I'd just started blogging about vegetables too, the very early days of A Veggie Venture.

But as you can imagine, that first day, Karen and I talked and talked and TALKED. And talked some more.

So I felt sad when Karen and her family moved back East, it meant watching her food career evolve from afar: expanding the website FamilyStyle Food she launched shortly after we first met, building a food photography business and now ... a new success, her first cookbook.

The First Look, In the Middle of the Night.

Family Style: Shared Plates for Casual Feasts (affiliate link) arrived late one afternoon, I put it aside to look through later. That night, I couldn't sleep. Curled up by the fire, I found myself paging through, recipe by recipe.

"Your cookbook," I texted, "is lovely."

It's my kinda food. Fresh. Seasonal. Casual. Beautiful. Familiar ingredients. Many weeknight do-able, others that won't devour the entire weekend.

No surprise, given Karen's heritage, Family Style is tinted with the red, green and white of Italy. No surprise, given her new home on the East Coast, seafood shows up often. No surprise, it's packed – packed – with vegetables, some straight up like these Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables but mostly just worked in casually, like the first fall leaves on summer grass.

Here's a quick run-down of Family Style's chapters.

  • Bites and Salads to Share
  • Meaty Mains
  • Seafood to Savor
  • Slow-Cooked Suppers
  • Pasta: From Everyday to Elevated
  • Beautiful Bowl Meals: Soups, Stews and Grains
  • Vegetables by the Platter
  • Simple Sweets (the shortest chapter, just four recipes, a hallmark, I've learned, of cookbooks that are more than an excuse to share cakes and cookies)

And at least for me, nearly every recipe in Family Style is one I haven't made before or haven't made in quite that way before. And yet the ingredients are all ones I keep stocked up and on hand.

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables ♥ KitchenParade.com, barely roasted, big chunks meant for casual sharing. Vegan. WW Friendly. Low Carb.

Take Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables.

Just eggplant, bell pepper and summer squash plus onion and tomato. The combination? Dreamy good. I didn't even need to order special groceries.

That first fragrant trayful came out of the oven mid-afternoon. But after a quick taste, I went to find my husband. "Come have a little snack," I said.

We put the big platter of vegetables over rice on the table between us, just sticking our forks in, tasting each big chunk individually. "Would you like a little wine?" he asked.

Family Style instantly lived up to its pitch: Shared Plates for Casual Feasts.

How to Roast Mediterranean Vegetables.

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights. You can do this!

Now roasting vegetables as about as easy as cooking can get. In fact, just follow the tips and master recipe in How to Roast Vegetables and you'll never need a recipe again.

And roast these vegetables like this once and chances are, you'll never need to follow the recipe again either.

That said, I've been making these for a couple of months now, one trayful after another, and naturally veered off. But each time, I returned to Karen's original combination. It really is quite perfect, just as is.


Prep the Vegetables Aim for larger-than-usual pieces for roasting, this keeps the vegetables from shriveling up in a hot oven. You'll end up with about three pounds of trimmed vegetables, measure with a scale if you like, or just use a bowl that, after the first time, becomes a close-enough approximation. Less would be okay but three pounds is about the most that will fit without crowding on a standard baking sheet. This is the sheet pan (affiliate link) I use. Technically, it's a "half" sheet pan but it's the largest size that will fit into nearly all home ovens.


Toss with Olive Oil And a little garlic. And some salt and pepper. And a tiny kick of cayenne that makes a difference, even my heat-averse husband thinks it's not only important but necessary. Stir it all really well, don't be afraid to get in there with your hands. Once the vegetable pieces are evenly coated with oil and the seasoning is evenly distributed, spread the vegetables evenly across the baking sheet, take a minute and flip most of the pieces so there's a flat side touching the baking sheet, the cut side of a zucchini round, say, not the rounded skin side. Why? More surface area for browning!


Roast in a Hot Oven, 425F. Put the tray onto the center rack of the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. If you're making rice (and I do recommend it) do so now, with this recipe the rice and the roasted veggies will finish at about the same time. After 15 minutes, stir the vegetables and set the timer for another 10 minutes. Before stirring, taste a piece of eggplant and onion for doneness, if they're done to your liking, great. If not, stir again and set for another 5 or so minutes. In my kitchen, this is usually 30 to 35 minutes total but once took a good 45 minutes.


Fill the Platter If you're having rice, spread it on the platter first, then scoop the vegetables into the center, leaving an outer ring of rice visible. Scrape the juices off the baking sheet onto the vegetables, then drizzle them with a tiny bit of good balsamic vinegar. If you like – or if you dare, it's so good – sprinkle a few bits of ricotta or goat cheese on top, not too much, just enough to melt in.


Now Dig In! Grab the forks and go!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If these lovely vegetables hit the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...
Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables ♥ KitchenParade.com, barely roasted, big chunks meant for casual sharing. Vegan. WW Friendly. Low Carb.



ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLES

Hands-on time: 20 minutes to start, 5 minutes to finish
Time-to-table: 1 to 1-1/4 hours
Serves about 8 or two hungry vegetable lovers
    ABOUT THREE POUNDS (1360g) of VEGETABLES
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 400g), skin on, cut into 1x2-inch lengths
  • 1 or 2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers (about 125 - 250g), no green pepper please, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 300g), cut into 1-inch thick rounds, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 medium yellow squash (about 200g), cut into 1-inch thick round, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 medium red onion or yellow onion (about 180g), cut into 1-inch wedges (don't skip)
  • 12 ounces (about 340g) mini tomatoes, halved or quartered if large (don't skip)
  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon per pound of vegetables
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Sprinkle cayenne
    TO SERVE
  • Cooked Rice, optional (How to Cook White Rice)
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Roasting Juices (don't skip!)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Bits of ricotta, goat cheese, feta, burrata or another creamy cheese, optional and way, way too delicious

Set oven to 425F/220C. If you like, line a baking sheet with parchment for slightly easier clean-up, I don't usually.

PREP Prep the vegetables, trimming first, then cutting into quite-large pieces, larger than usual for roasted vegetables, about bite-size. Collect the vegetables in a bowl. Stir in the olive oil, garlic, salt and cayenne, really getting in there to coat the vegetables with oil and evenly distribute the rest, breaking up the onion layers. Spread the vegetables evenly across the roasting pan, take a minute to turn many of the flat surfaces directly onto the baking sheet.

ROAST for 25 - 30 minutes (some times longer, one batch needed a full 45 minutes) until the vegetables are cooked but still quite firm (definitely not mushy) and the tomatoes are juicy and deflating; stir midway through. Taste a piece of eggplant and a piece of onion to make sure they're cooked to your taste.

TO SERVE If using, spread just-cooked white rice across a large platter and top with the roasted vegetables. Scrape the cooking juices off the baking sheet over the rice and vegetables. Drizzle the vegetables with a little balsamic vinegar. If you like, sprinkle with a creamy cheese. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

LEFTOVERS make for a great lunch for a day or two.

VARIATIONS Other Mediterranean vegetables that would work well here are artichoke hearts and fennel, maybe even ribbons of radicchio. To stray a bit from the Mediterranean influence, try okra, radishes, leeks, celery, mushrooms, corn kernels and ... more ideas?

ALANNA's TIPS Why three pounds of vegetables? It's what comfortably fits onto a baking sheet without crowding. It's easier to aim for a total, adjusting individual vegetables up and down based on their size or what's on hand. Grape tomatoes work especially well here, their skins are slightly tougher so the tomatoes don't fall apart in the oven. A time or two I used wedges of more tender tomato wedges, they needed to be added midway through, about 15 minutes in the oven is plenty. Not into white rice? Farro would be a great fit here. We really love these vegetables over something that can soak up the delicious pan juices. In summer, how about a drizzle of Homemade Fresh Basil Pesto Without Cheese?
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 90 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 17mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 4g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 1 & blue 1 & purple 1
Adapted from Family Style: Shared Plates for Casual Feasts by my friend Karen Tedesco who inspires my cooking at FamilyStyle Food. DISCLOSURE Karen lived in St. Louis and we have been friends for more than ten, wait, make that fifteen years. I bought my own copy of her book the opinions are my own. You can count on transparency like this every time, it's My Disclosure Promise.

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~ tomato recipes ~
~ onions ~

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

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