Roasted Mixed Vegetables

This simple recipe requires a little prep time with fresh vegetables, which can be done well in advance. After that, this is a "pop it in the oven while you do something else" dish.

1 head cauliflower
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 medium eggplant
3 cloves garlic, sliced or choppped
Red pepper flakes (optional)
olive oil, S&P

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Lay the eggplant on a cutting board lengthwise, and trim the purple skin off one long side of the eggplant. Trim again on the opposite side. Rotate the eggplant onto a cut side and trim the remaining two sides. You are trying to just get the wide skin section off, so don't cut too deeply into the eggplant. You will leave a few sections of purple skin at each end. That's OK.

  3. Cut the eggplant into 1/2" thick slices, then slice again into 1/2" strips. Cut the strips crosswise into 1/2" cubes. Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Let sit for 10-20 minutes while you prepare other vegetables.

  4. Tear away all the green outer leaves of the cauliflower. Cut the head in half, then in half again. Attacking it from a diagonal angle, cut the thick stalk / stem away from each quarter head. Now use the tip of your knife to cut florets (trees) away from the stalk. The florets should be 1 inch or less. Some will naturally be that size. For the larger florets, simply cut them in half or quarters.

  5. Stand the red pepper upright, with the green stalk facing up. Slice one-quarter of the pepper away, by cutting downward. Repeat for the other three sides of the pepper, so you are left with only the seeds and stem in the center. Trim any white ribs from the inside of the pepper pieces. Then chop the pepper into 1/2" or 3/4" squares. Repeat with the yellow pepper.

  6. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets or roasting pans with aluminum foil, Put half the vegetables into each. Drizzle with olive oil and half the garlic. Add plenty of salt and pepper. Add a few dashed of red pepper flakes, if desired.

  7. Roast at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. The eggplants will be very soft, the cauliflower will be slightly browned. Combine all the cooked vegetables in a bowl and toss with more olive oil and herbs, if desired.

Using two pans give the vegetables plenty of room so they'll brown nicely. If the vegetables are crowded together, they'll steam in their neighbor's released juices.

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