Thursday, August 9, 2012
Though I am ready for this hot summer weather to go away, I am not yet ready to swap out summer vegetables for the fall variety. Tomatoes are at their peak right now and late summer eggplant and basil are always a favorite of mine. There's not a whole lot you need to do to sweet summer vegetables in the height of their season.
For a quick and easy dinner this week I roasted red and yellow peppers with Japanese eggplant in one roasting pan (with no salt or pepper - I am slowly figuring out that the salt draws out the water in all vegetables in the oven and causes them to steam instead of caramelize). And some onion, yellow squash and zucchini in another roasting pan. I give the eggplant and pepper pan a 15 minute head start on cooking. In a 425 oven that is. The squash and onion pan goes in after about 15 minutes and both pans of veggies cook for another 20 minutes. Tossing the veggies with a spoon as needed, of course.
Meanwhile, I boil some water for the pasta. Add salt to the pot and cook the pasta as directed on the package. I cut some of the sweetest cherry tomatoes in half and add them to a serving dish. A pinch of salt and pepper to the tomatoes and to all of the veggies when they are done roasting. I drain the pasta and add the pasta and hot veggies to the serving dish with the cherry tomatoes. A drizzle of olive oil and then toss together. Top with fresh basil and real Parmasan cheese and - voila - dinner is served. Maybe a crisp salad and some crusty bread too, perhaps?
So, I guess that is the recipe. You can use whatever amounts of veggies and pasta you prefer. I went heavy on the veggies - 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 2 small eggplants, 1/2 white onion, 2 small yellow squash and 2 small eight-ball zucchini for 1/2 pound (half a package) of pasta. I could have easily cooked a whole pound of pasta here but I wanted a vegetable laden dish.