Summer produce season is in full swing and how better to celebrate by cooking up some fun new vegetable dishes? Today we?ll focus on preparing fresh vegetables in two ways -- roasting in the oven and cooking on the grill. Whether the weather is perfect or anything but, you?ll have a fun way to prep veggies at your fingertips. Roasting or grilling vegetables is easy, low in fat, and produces a seriously rich flavor.
When in doubt, grill it out!
- Coat large slices of vegetables (like eggplant or sweet potatoes) with a bit of olive oil and place them straight on the grill. Remember to flip them a few times.
- For smaller vegetables, thread pieces onto skewers or place chunks of veggies in a grilling basket. It is a good idea to place the skewered veggies on foil. Rotate the skewers occasionally and be sure to toss the veggies in the basket from time to time to ensure even cooking.
Try these simple tricks for perfect roasted veggies, every time.
- There are two ways to roast vegetables in your oven. You can either roast them quickly by placing them directly under a hot broiler, or you can take things slow by assembling your veggies on a baking sheet and putting them into a hot oven.
- Make sure your veggies are completely dry after you wash them. This will ensure that they roast, rather than steam.
- When possible, make sure that none of the veggies are touching any others. The space allows them to?roast more evenly.
Try it Out!
Are you ready to try some of these techniques? Try this roasted vegetable pasta! You can also grill the vegetables instead of roasting them without affecting the recipe.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- 1 pound bow tie pasta (or any other small pasta)
- 2 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup diced eggplant
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 package fresh spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Black pepper to taste
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions.?Drain and set aside.
- Preheat broiler; place tomatoes, onions and pepper strips on a pan in a single layer. Broil these veggies until tender and browned.
- Add garlic, mushrooms, and olive oil to a large nonstick pan. Saute, then add the eggplant and water. Cover the pan and let cook briefly.
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Once all the veggies in the pan are cooked, add the pasta and roasted vegetables and cook until heated through.
- Serve topped with a bit of Parmesan, oregano, and black pepper. A large fresh salad is the perfect accompaniment to this surprisingly hearty meal.
Serves 6. Each 2-cup serving: 354 calories, 6 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 31 mg sodium, 63 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 5 g fiber.
See http://foodandhealth.com for more recipes and ideas using vegetables, pasta, and your grill.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.