There seems to be a chill in the air here. I’m never quite sure what to cook around this time of year. Or what to wear, for that matter. It’s not nearly cold enough for typical autumn food (or a coat), but it’s not really BBQ (& tank top) kinda weather anymore either.
Then it hit me: roasted summer vegetables. The perfect middle ground and absolute best of both seasons.
5 or 6 tomatoes (I’ve used pomodori)
1 large onion
1 (or 2) red bell pepper
1 fennel bulb
coarse sea salt
2 tbsp oil
15 basil leaves
3 tbsp pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
5 tbsp oil
Here’s some of the stuff I’ll be putting in my roasting tray. Aren’t these colors amazing?
I’ve opted for sweet pointed peppers. One large red sweet pepper and I also threw in a few of those cute tiny sweet orange peppers. Cut them in strips.
And fennel. You must have fennel! Your life will be meaningless without the fennel because nothing beats roasted fennel. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Okay, so maybe Pringles, but that’s it.
Cut off the stalks. Discard the unpretty outer layer, cut off its bottom and turn the fennel into wedges.
Turn the onion into wedges as well.
Wash and slice the zucchini.
And wash the tomatoes before turning them into wedges. I opted for gorgeous, sweet and deep red pomodori tomatoes. The juices that ooze out of these babies are simply irresistible.
Throw it all into a large roasting tray or oven dish.
Pour about 2 tbsp oil over the vegetables and toss them around a little to get an even coating. Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse sea salt and black pepper on top.
Place the roasting tray in a preheated oven and roast the vegetables at 400F (200C) for 35 to 45 minutes. Until tender, juicy and slightly browned.
In the mean time we’ll make the dressing, or sauce if you will. Roasted vegetables don’t need much adornment, but fresh herbs never hurt anyone so we’ll make a basic basil dressing. Toast 3 tbsp pine nuts in a dry skillet until slightly brown.
Transfer the pine nuts to an immersion blender bowl, blender or food processor. Pick some fresh basil leaves, about 12 to 15 decent sized leaves.
Chop 2 medium garlic cloves in coarse pieces. Add the garlic to the blender bowl.
Add some salt and pepper, the fresh basil, 5 tbsp olive oil and pulse, pulse pulse.
Until it’s a flavorful, fragrant and wonderfully green dressing. Pour the dressing over the vegetables as soon as they come out of the oven. This is so frickin delicious.
Serve with grilled meat/poultry and a huge chunk of flat-bread for dipping those awesome pomodori infused juices, just as addictive as my Beef Sausages & Balsamic Tomatoes. This kind of food is love, people. Pure unadulterated love.