Friday, August 22, 2008

Roasting Rocks My World

As I've written about quite frequently of late, I love roasted beets. Slightly charred, a little crispy, but bursting with flavor, not much can beat (no pun intended...mostly) the perks of roasting. So when I purchased a yellow summer squash in addition to my bunch of beets at last weekend's farmer's market, it seemed natural that I roast the squash as well.

I tried some of the squash raw as I sliced it up in preparation for roasting, and its flesh was smooth and almost creamy, and definitely delectable. It would make a great addition to any fresh salad. This time, however, I spread the squash on a baking sheet along with some mini red bell peppers, french beans, and diced red onion as well as garlic, vinegars, and spices, then popped the entire enchilada in the oven.

This recipe is easy, with the actual work of the process (i.e., the chopping and dicing, and then the mixing of the ingredients) requiring no more than five minutes. I left the veggie-laden tray in the oven for about thirty-five to forty minutes, then refrigerated the results. That's not to say that you shouldn't eat this healthy dish warm -- it tasted quite nice fresh from the heat. However, I intended to use this as part of a bento lunch for the next day, piled over some beet greens.

Speaking of farmer's markets and locally grown foods, don't forget about Muffin Love's local food challenge, Living La Vida Local! Be sure to enter your best recipe with local or homegrown foods. I can't wait to see the results! For now, however, content yourself with this flavorful vegetable concoction.

Tri-Color Summer Vegetable Roast

2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp parsley, dried
1 tsp oregano
pepper to taste

1 summer squash, sliced
3 mini red bell peppers, julienned
1/4 cup red onion, diced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the garlic, vinegars, lemon, and spices in a large bowl. Stir in the sliced vegetables, being sure to cover all pieces in the marinade. (Alternatively, pour the marinade and vegetables into a well-sealing tupperware or Ziplock baggie and shake well.) Spread the vegetables evenly on a baking sheet covered in canola oil cooking spray. Make sure that none of the pieces overlap. Reserve any extra marinade in a separate bowl.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven on a centered rack for 15 minutes. Stir the vegetables, flipping each piece in order to evenly roast all sides. Roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables have reached your desired texture. Remove and cool. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, remove them to the bowl with the reserved marinade. Stir and either serve immediately or refrigerate.

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