Vegetable Magic

You know the old saying, “A Bloody Mary a day keeps the doctor away”….

Bloody Marys as vegetables

AS IF!

Fear not, for I have a solution to incorporate more vegetables into your diet without raising your BAC.

My favorite way to eat vegetables is to roast them. Crunchy and bland transforms into smoky and savory with a little help from olive oil, salt and some very high temps! It’s science!

Here, I have used eggplant and zucchini, but any vegetable will do.  I dare you to use a lesser loved veggie (some may cringe at cauliflower) and give it a whirl. You may be surprised when you’ve eaten an entire head of cauliflower yourself (not that I would know anything about that).

Roasting makes vegetables taste magical.  You better believe it.

Prep Time: 30 minutes*

Cook Time: 45 minutes to an hour

Ingredients: (makes 3 servings)

  • 1 medium sized eggplant
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 onion (whatever kind you like or have lying around)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice

Method

Preheat oven to 450˚

Cut your eggplant in half lengthwise. Then cut each half  in the same manner, so  you have 4 vertical quarters (that’s as mathematical as I promise to get). Chop into 1/4 inch slices.

*Option: Sprinkle salt on your chopped eggplant and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Eggplants are very water dense and this process helps dehydrate the eggplant so it has a firmer texture. Be sure to rinse and pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel if you choose to do this. I suggest squeezing it to prevent excess water from soaking back in.

zucchini and eggplant

Next, slice your zucchini into thin rounds. Arrange rounds on a roasting pan and lightly coat with olive oil and place in a 450˚oven. This goes into the oven first as zucchini is more dense than eggplant and takes longer to cook.

Meanwhile, slice your onion into thin rings and mince your garlic.  Nature’s extreme flavor enhancers!

After about 10-15 minutes, add garlic, onion and eggplant to the partially roasted zucchini with another drizzle of oil.  Add salt, pepper, oregano and lemon juice and gently toss. These babies are going to roast for a while, so now would be a good time to watch an episode of Breaking Bad tidy up your kitchen.

roasted eggplant
Look at that color!

Since ovens vary, it’s important to check on the veggies during the cooking process. You’re getting very close when they look like this! This was about 40 minutes in for me.

Resist the temptation to dig in. We’re about to take it to another level with the addition of feta. I typically buy Trader Joe’s block feta in brine, but should you ever come across it, Bulgarian Feta might just steal your heart.

feta

Carefully remove your pan from the oven and crumble approximately 1/4 cup of feta over your veggies and gently combine. Due to its relatively high melting point, the feta will remain mostly intact and develop a gorgeous golden crust after about 5-10 more minutes in the oven.

AND DONE!

I swear it’s worth the wait!! This reheats nicely, but leftovers are NOT LIKELY.

Looking for some more eggplant inspiration? These are two of my all time favorite eggplant recipes via The Pioneer Woman and Closet Cooking.

Still hungry for more? Follow me on Pinterest for more ideas!

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5 thoughts on “Vegetable Magic

  1. I love vegetables and my favorite way to cook them is roasting. I can’t believe I’ve never thought to do this! I followed your recipe on green beans last night and it was amazing! Definitely going to be a cooking method on regular rotation!

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