So here we are again, August.
August hits and all of a sudden we feel like SUMMER IS ENDING QUICK QUICK GET OUTSIDE GET TO THE BEACH EAT MORE POPSICLES PACK ALL THE SUMMER THINGS INTO WHAT LITTLE SUMMER WE HAVE LEFT FALL IS COMING!!!
But REALLY. We have OVER a month of summer left. So let’s all take a moment to remember that. Say it with us: there’s a whole lot of summer ahead.
So now that we’ve gotten that out in the open, we’re still going to make this post quick. Because even though there are weeks of trying to beat the world record for most ice cream sandwiches eaten in one summer (we’re pretty sure the record is held by some amazing 7 year-old who’s our hero and doesn’t even know it), we want to spend as much of that time outside as possible. Yes, even in the drenching humidity of August.
One of the many reasons we love these hothot days is that they’re full of some of our favorite produce. Stone fruits. (More on those to come soon…) Corn. Zucchini. Berries. Chard. Basil. And all kinds of tomatoes. And then still more tomatoes after that. The list goes on and on.
The amount of produce can actually be kind of overwhelming: how do we take advantage of all of this good stuff all summer long, while not spending too long sweating over the stove?
Sure, we make lots and lots of salads and grain bowls and just plain old bowls of fruits and vegetables to eat as is, but another favorite summertime supper: mixed roasted vegetables. Everything we can get our hands on, tossed together with some salt and olive oil and roasted up. Then whatever you do next with them is up to you: eat them just like that, toss them into the aforementioned salads and grain bowls, layer them up on sandwiches, add them to pasta, serve them alongside some good cheese and bread. Whatever your summer-lovin’ heart desires.
And it’s all so good.
The thing about cooking vegetables this way, is that while the method is the same—and oh so easy—across the board (maybe a few minutes more or less, depending on what you’re tossing together), you can’t actually get bored. The variations are just as endless as the way you serve them up. Best of all, prep time is next to none: just some washing and as much chopping as you feel like. Then spread out on a sheet pan, slide it all in the oven, and a little while later: a beautiful and super delicious dinner (or lunch or whatever) is ready to serve. It’s as easy as that.
Here’s our almost non-recipe recipe for the foundation of many of the best summer meals we make. And now that we’ve talked about that… ice cream sandwich time? Meet you outside.
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Roasted Summer Vegetables
Notes: Below we’ve used what was at the farmer’s market on one particular day we went. To be honest, we got there a little late and the pickings were a little slimmer than usual! But no matter: what we picked up still turned into something incredibly delicious. Use whatever mix of vegetables you want! Just check on them towards the end to make sure your variation isn’t crisping up too quickly. On the other hand, if you’re using really juicy vegetables, they may need a little more time.
- Your favorite vegetables, washed, scrubbed, trimmed and cut up. We used: Scapes, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, new potatoes, red onion, carrots and basil.
* Preheat oven to 375 °F.
* Toss vegetables with olive oil add a little salt, spice it up with red pepper flakes if you like, and spread out on a sheet pan.
* Roast until everything is nicely cooked: probably at least 30 minutes, but longer if you’re using bigger chunks of vegetables or harder ones like sweet potatoes. Add chopped garlic about 10 minutes before vegetables are ready to come out.
* When everything is roasted and golden, remove from the oven and toss with lots of your favorite herbs and maybe a drizzle of vinegar or your favorite vinaigrette, if you like.
© 2015 Lee and Lou Cook. All rights reserved.