Roasting or flash roasting vegetables is a super easy and quick way to have a warm dinner. When your tomatoes, zucchini, cauliflower etc.. are lonely and getting sad in the fridge and you don’t have time to plan for an elaborate meal here is my advice: roast them!
While the vegetables are going through their magical oven transformation, you have time to prepare the rest of the meal components. The technique is easy and simple and the possibilities are endless. Be hungry. Have fun!
recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
Heat the oven to 425F (220C). Spread in one layer the vegetables on a baking sheet, season with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes approximately. Your vegetables are ready and they taste great!
For the TOMATOES I usually add shallots, few garlic cloves and one type of herb. When the tomatoes look cooked and start to blister, remove them from the oven, collect the cooking juices and the roasted vegetables add a dash of balsamic vinegar and serve as a sauce for pasta or over white rice, polenta, couscous… they are deliciously gorgeous.
For the CARROTS: I attended a cooking class at Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse in March 2016 where I learned a helpful and clever trick to preserve the beauty of the so called “multicolored carrots”.
To peel the adorable small multicolored carrots: do not use a vegetable peeler. You will lose the wonderful colors and your small carrots will almost vanish, they are already super tiny! Scrub off all the dirt and make them shiny using a little piece of scouring pad. You can rinse them after that, pat dry them and they are ready to use.
Cut them in half, lengthwise. Season with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt and place them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them cook in a hot oven (425F / 220C) until they start start caramelizing.
Serving suggestion: Sprinkle the roasted carrots with toasted sesame seeds, fresh thyme and a Labneh Tahini Sauce* for delicious dipping!
*Labneh Tahini Sauce Recipe: in a bowl, using a small whisk, combine ⅓ cup of Tahini with one grated garlic clove, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, ⅓ cup water, 2 tablespoons labneh and season with salt.
For the ZUCCHINI: Flash roasted them with olive oil, salt and pepper and served them with Feta cheese and a sprinkle of pink peppercorn.
You can also serve the roasted zucchini with a side of herb couscous. It makes a delicious vegetarian meal.
I love CAULIFLOWER and the kids can’t seem to get enough of this beautiful vegetable. You can roast a whole cauliflower or cut it into florets, both options give delicious results.
Whole Cauliflower: rub the cauliflower with extra virgin olive oil, season lightly with sea salt and let it roast in a hot oven (425F / 220C) until beautifully golden. Serve with lemon juice, parsley and capers. Depending on the size of the cauliflower it should take around 30 to 40 minutes. My advice is to start checking after 30 minutes, then at 5 minutes intervals. This is a basic recipe and a great “start” for multiple creative variations.
White Cauliflower Florets: you can make it with classical white cauliflower. Spread the cut cauliflower pieces in one layer on a baking sheet, season with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Mix them with your hands so all the florets are coated with the seasoning. rearrange them in one layer. Roast in a hot oven (425F / 220C) for 30 minutes or more. Serve with lemon wedges, parsley and capers. It makes a perfect salad or vegetable side dish to grilled meats and richer meat stews. I prepare this dish at least once a week. It is my son Alex’s favorite roasted vegetable dish.
Colored Cauliflower: When I can find colored cauliflowers I have to buy them!! I use the same roasting technique and served them on a lightly toasted Multigrain Bread slice with a creamy Tahini Yogurt dressing, a generous sprinkle of zaatar and fresh cilantro leaves.
Roasted cauliflower works well with roasted pine nuts, toasted sesame seeds, zaatar, green olives, capers, lemon, garlic, chives, curry, tahini sauce… have fun!