Slow-Roasted Summer Vegetables

That, friends, is one homely mess of vegetables. I almost didn’t share the recipe with you, it being rather underwhelming in the looks department, but the flavor (oh man, that flavor!) was so worth it that it seemed a bit unfair to keep all to myself. Those streaks in the bottom of the pan? That’s where we dragged pieces of ciabatta through to scrape up the very last little bits. (I didn’t throw “scarpetta” into the name of this blog for nothing.)

Layers of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and onions slow roast in a hot oven until they collapse and relax into one another, and it’s almost hard to tell where one vegetable starts and the other begins. Ever had a batch of ho-hum ratatouille or a soggy vegetable tian and think this could be so much better? Try this. Lucinda Scala Quinn’s trick is to press down on the veggies (use the back of a spatula or a wooden spoon) a few times during cooking, which releases the moisture so it can steam away, and all you’re left with is caramelized, olive oil-kissed goodness. (Smart!) This dish makes a delicious end-of-summer side to grilled fish or meat, but I could easily tuck into a plateful all on its own.

Slow-Roasted Summer Vegetables
adapted from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry, 2010

  • one small-medium eggplant, thinly sliced crosswise and cut into half-moons
  • 5-6 small tomatoes, thinly sliced (Early Girls, if you can find them)
  • one yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 medium zucchini and/or summer squash, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Splash a little of the olive oil into a glass or ceramic casserole dish (9×13 or a 12″ oval). Add half the onions and a third of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon oregano. Add a layer of eggplant and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add another third of the tomato slices, the zucchini, garlic, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. (If you have any leftover eggplant and zucchini, layer it on top.) Add the remaining onions and tomatoes. Smush the vegetables down a bit with your hands. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over top.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered. About 45 minutes in, smush the mixture down firmly with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. (The veggies will have shrunk down quite a bit and gone a little charred at the edges.) Return to the oven for another 45 minutes, pressing once more halfway through. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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About scarpettakate

Scarpetta Dolcetto celebrates simple, seasonal, scratch home cookery.
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18 Responses to Slow-Roasted Summer Vegetables

  1. thekeyofkels says:

    Mmmm I have some eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and all kind of other veggies in the fridge from this week’s Farmer’s Market… I think I know what I’m having for dinner now! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Gorgeous! I love the half eaten look, like it was too good to wait – very effective. This sounds delicious.

  3. Thanks. Sounds yummy.

  4. Teresa says:

    I think I may try this for Sunday dinner with company. It sounds wonderful.

  5. This looks delicious. There is something about those burnt bits around the edges that you know will be delicous!

  6. James Bellante says:

    Was delicious Kate. Scott and I had friends up in Sonoma last night for dinner,…it was a perfect side dish filled with many of our favorite veggies….we’ll do this one again for sure. Thanks!

  7. Teresa says:

    Ok, I tried this recipe. I will send you the link when I write it up and link to your page. I made a few changes because I was trying to get rid of a few things, and added a few more seasonings but overall kept it the same. I even prepared this yesterday (with the eggplant) without baking it and baked it this morning. I wondered how the eggplant would turn out. IT WAS FABULOUS! It is a keeper for sure. I bet this will be good with lots of other veggies, too, but it was wonderful just like it is. Thanks so much for sharing. (I’ll try to get mine posted tomorrow).

  8. Pingback: Slow Roasted Summer Vegetables | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

  9. Thanks for the nice notes, all. I have *another* pan of this in the oven to take to a BBQ this afternoon. Hope you’re having a wonderful Labor Day!

  10. omeletta says:

    I’m such a sucker for slow roasted veggies! And no better way to move from summer into August. Will definitely try the spatula flattening trick next time, thanks!

  11. joshuafagans says:

    So good to see you the other day! I so wish I could stop by the shop more often. I think this dish looks wonderful. Yeah things like this aren’t always beautiful but they taste so good.

  12. Susan says:

    Just made this tonight (prepped last night and waited a full 24 hours to bake) – delish! Uh, we probably used 2/3 of the amount of veggies called for, but Jason and I ate the ENTIRE thing for dinner! Thanks for the recipe!

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