Summer’s Bounty: One-Ingredient Roast Vegetables

No marinades, no seasonings—just sizzling flavor and an authentically positive way to enjoy the season.

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Posted in , Jul 6, 2022

Roasted summer veggies

Yes, you read that headline correctly—I’m here today to sing the praises of a flavorful, delicious method of cooking vegetables that requires literally one ingredient—the veg itself.

I’m serious, this is the whole recipe: Take a fresh summer vegetable, put it in a very hot oven, and roast it until it’s smoky, caramelized and deliciously ready to take its place as a side dish, topping for grilled meat or fish, or as the star of a salsa, salad, grain or pasta dish.

Seasonings, dressings, marinades—save that fussiness for later. For now, just take your farmer’s market fare and give it and yourself an easy road to the summer evening dinner table.

This method works wonderfully with eggplant, which has a sturdy skin that won’t split when roasted for 45 minutes in a hot (500 degree) oven. Other vegetables take to it as well, with less time required for them to cook all the way through—bell peppers come to mind. And of course, potatoes require nothing more than a clean skin and a hot oven to become fluffy and creamy on the inside and satisfyingly crisp on the outside. Your creamy, soft roasted results await, just as soon as you cool the veggies down enough to peel, chop or otherwise handle them.

And a bonus—if you use this method with tomatoes, roasting them in a rimmed sheet pan, you’ll get a one-and-done sauce, caramelized for sweetness and flecked with bits of charred tomato skin to bring smoky goodness to your summer table. At your leisure, just tear off a few leaves of basil, sprinkle some flaky salt over the top, and you have a fresh tomato sauce crying out for simple boiled pasta, freshly toasted bread or a tasty lean protein like chicken or fish.

Culinary ease aside, there’s a beauty to this method that connects with the idea of living with authentic positivity. 

By cooking this way, you’re really doing very little except enabling fresh, seasonal vegetables to develop their fullest sweet, savory and smoky flavors. They can transform into soft or crisp textures and make themselves available for whatever you feel like cooking up for them—from dips to side dishes to salads or sauces.

So, too, can we take the easy way toward a summer of savor-able freshness, a minimal investment of effort to yield the joyful options we crave during this season. No fancy life changes or fussy extras required—like the hardy eggplant in your garden, you already have what you need to offer yourself to the world in all your complex deliciousness.

What will the one ingredient that is you transform into this summer?

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