I like to roast vegetables in the oven. For me, the flavors concentrate and develop more than steaming – or boiling, like our ancestors used to do. A little brown color adds flavor, but you decide how well you want your vegetables cooked.
I also like to use the grill, which adds more flavor and leaves nice grill marks for presentation.
Use what is fresh and in season or whatever you like from the following suggestions:
- Zucchini squash, sliced on the diagonal in 1/3 inch elongated slices
- Yellow Squash, sliced on the diagonal in 1/3 inch elongated slices
- Asparagus, trimmed
- Red bell pepper, sliced into thick strips (seeded)
- Poblano pepper, sliced in half (seeded)
- Large portabella mushrooms, cut into ¾ inch slices
- Onion, sliced (around the equator) into thick planks
- Eggplant sliced into 1/3 to 1/2 inch rounds
- Small whole tomatoes
You can either grill or roast the vegetables, but the vegetable preparation is the same – just toss with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper. If you prefer a garlic salt or other seasoned salt, you could substitute that for all or part of the salt, and you may also choose to add a little cayenne pepper for a bit of heat at the back of the palette. I also like to sprinkle a little dried Italian seasoning herbs – or use fresh herbs if you have them on hand.
If I am using a sheet pan to roast vegetables in the oven, then I put them right on the sheet pan, drizzle olive oil all over, and sprinkle with spices. Forget about using a baggie or bowl to season the vegetables– I toss the vegetables around and get them, as well as the pan, completely coated in oil and seasonings. Arrange in a single layer, and do not crowd the pan or else veggies will steam and not brown up as well. Use another sheet pan, if necessary , to avoid over-crowding. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until your desired doneness. Remove from oven and let them stand on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before removing to a serving platter. Remember to make a beautiful presentation of your platter – such as lining up each vegetable in a row or in quadrants.
On a grill, preheat the grill to a consistent medium high heat. Here, I would use a baggie or bowl to pre-season the vegetables and toss with oil. Bring that bag or bowl right to the grill, but do not transfer any of the excess oil to the grill while loading them in – which will cause a flare-up.
I also like to slow-roast Roma tomatoes. You can group them right on the same platter as the grilled vegetables — here is the recipe for Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes (shown below around the top edge of the platter).