Roasted summer vegetables are delicious on their own, but even better with a bright and flavorful Southern romesco.
One can never have enough recipes for good 'ole caramelized and tender roasted veggies.
Just yesterday while leading a nutrition class, someone asked me the million dollar question:
"I get that I should be eating more vegetables, but how do you make them taste good?
Let me count the ways. You could top them with garlicky breadcrumbs, season them with a little bit of bacon, add dried fruit, grill 'em, serve them with a creamy vegan dipping sauce, fritter 'em, add smoky and spicy flavors. Or, you could keep things simple and roast them.
I want to point out a special vegetable in this mix - okra. It's definitely a polarizing veg. Okra detractors might call it slimy, or worse, mucusy, while okra lovers appreciate it's ropiness, ability to thicken stews (jambalaya!), and hold on tightly to breadcrumbs before baking.
I get the texture issues. Okra definitely has a unique one. But this is where roasting works it's wonders. Cut in half and roasted, or even left whole, the goo dries right up!
Now, this Southern romesco? Just do it. You probably will have some leftover with this recipe, although I didn't, probably because I dropped giant globs of it all over my veggies and maybe snuck in a food spoonfuls while photographing. I really wish I doubled up the recipe. Extras would be perfect on a veggie panini, tossed with whole grain pasta and grilled veggies. dolloped on my creamy mashed beans, or with scrambled eggs. You could even use it as a snack or appetizer and serve with whole grain crackers and crudites.
Roasted Summer Vegetables with Southern Romesco
Serves: About 4-8, depending on if it's a main or a side
Adapted from Root to Leaf
- 1 cup black eyed peas, preferably soaked overnight
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb okra pods, halved
- 1 small Vidalia onion, halved and sliced into 1/2 inch crescents
- 2 medium squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch crescents
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil, for serving
- 1 medium tomato, cut into large chunks
- 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into large chunks
- 1/2 medium red onion, cut into large chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup pecans, toasted
- 1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Place black eyed peas and bay leaf in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-60 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. First, roast the vegetables for the romesco by tossing the tomato, peppers, red onion, and garlic with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes until tender then remove from oven and set aside.
Toss okra, onion, squash and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on 2 large baking sheets and place in the oven. Roast 20-30 minutes until tender and golden, tossing halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and toss with black -eyed peas.
Place vegetables for romesco in the food processor with pecans, sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve vegetables dolloped or tossed with romesco with fresh basil.
More roasted vegetable inspiration: