Recipe for Spiced Roasted Vegetables

These flavorful vegetables can be served as a side dish or as a first course or salad. They’re great on a buffet table — at room temperature, warm, or chilled. Although there are several ingredients and steps, the veggies are surprisingly easy to make. You can roast the vegetables a day ahead, toss with the dressing, and refrigerate them.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/VeselovaElena]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/VeselovaElena

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time, if desired

Spice meter: Mildly spiced

Spiced Olive Oil

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

3/4 teaspoon cumin seed

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 serrano chile, halved

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Roasted Vegetables

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/4inch thick and cut into half-moons

1 large or 2 medium onions, quartered

2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick long pieces

2 medium red, yellow, or green bell peppers, seeded, ribs removed, and quartered

1 large tomato, cored

1/2 cup black olives

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 plump cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1-1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus pepper to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  1. Combine the olive oil, garlic, cumin seed, cracked black pepper, serrano, and thyme in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a microwave-proof liquid measuring cup and heat for 1 minute on medium power. Let the spiced oil stand for 20 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the eggplant, onions, zucchini, and bell peppers in a large roasting pan.

    Season the vegetables with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Pour the spiced oil, with the spices included, over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Put the tomato in the center of the pan and roll it to coat with the spiced oil. Roast until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes, stirring the vegetables once or twice.

    Remove all the vegetables except the onion to a platter, but set the tomato aside. Break the onion up into individual sections and roast for an additional 10 minutes, then arrange it on the platter.

  3. When the tomato is cool enough to touch, remove the skin. Break up the tomato with a spoon or fork and stir it into the vegetables on the platter. Scatter the olives on top.

  4. Combine the balsamic vinegar, garlic, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a small bowl.

    Drizzle in the olive oil while beating with a fork or whisk. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Garnish with parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Per serving: Calories 147 (From Fat 103); Fat 11g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 445mg; Carbohydrate 11g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 2g.

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