Everyone loves a plate of grilled vegetables, to eat as is or to use as a filling for sandwiches. I have chosen to share the most ridiculously simple way. First of all, please don’t find me disingenuous: Some of us, including yours truly, were not blessed with a backyard or porch or any outdoor cooking amenities whatsoever, so my “grilled” vegetables are roasted at high temperature in one layer, and just as delicious as grilled, requiring no turning over and no maintenance. Second, the trick is to combine your veggies according to their cooking time.
To the basic selection below, you can add string beans, asparagus, endives, radishes, Brussels sprouts, and fennel; but you will roast carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes separately because they require a longer cooking time. Roast beets all by themselves so they don’t bleed into your other veggies, or use the wonderful golden beets now available at all good produce stores. For all roasting, remember, one layer, no piling! Lining the baking sheet with foil reduces, or sometimes even eliminates, cleaning.
When the vegetables are roasted, go ahead and get a little fancier if you wish: toss in a little olive oil, chopped fresh basil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and a little ground pepper. Most often, I add nothing at all: It’s that good!
Pasta with Grilled Vegetables: Dice your grilled vegetables , and toss them with 1 pound cooked pasta of your choice (anything except tubular pasta, meaning no pasta with holes running through its center) plus 1/2 a cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Adjust the seasonings. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- 2 large zucchini, cut in thick sticks
- 2 large red onions, sliced thick
- 3 large red peppers, cut in large sections
- 1 large eggplant, cut in thick sticks
- 2 large portobello mushrooms, caps and stems separated, caps left whole, stems cut in half lengthwise
- Sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large cookie sheet (you might need 2) with foil.
Spray heavily with vegetable oil spray. Place the vegetables snugly and in one layer on the cookie sheet. Spray heavily again with vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables look lightly charred. The mushrooms (or string beans or asparagus) might be ready first: take them out and roast the remaining vegetables a little longer. When the mushrooms caps are cool enough to handle, slice them on a bias. Serve warm or at room temperature