Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Roasted Summer Vegetables

This is about as easy as it gets- fresh, seasonal vegetables, a bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper,   an oven, and you've got the perfect dish for a warm, damp summer night like those we've been having in New York this summer. 

I commented to the guy who runs the stand at Z Food Farms (and is in fact the father of the farms owner) that his little summer squashes were cute, and he informed me they're not just cute- they're better small. As they get larger, he explained, they get more seedy and woody. Indeed, these were nearly seed free, very soft, and delightfully sweet.

Z Food is probably my favorite veggie farm stand at my beloved, ill fated New Amsterdam Market.   The farm, in Lawrenceville, NJ is owned by David Zaback, and his stand at New Amsterdam is manned by his parents (and him some weeks), which seems to be a growing trend in the markets. When Maggie Nesciur of Flying Fox comes to New Amsterdam with her myriad of delightful fruits, her mother is always there too, sorting through the bins of fruit in their pickup and restocking the stands supplies. I love this multigenerational effort, especially in these instances where the younger generation is the spearhead of the project, with the parents helping out- it's like a reverse family business. 

The curly scapes and multicolored veggies make for a lovely presentation.

Roasted Summer Vegetables Recipe: 
Nothing in this recipe is fixed- amounts of vegetables, seasonings used, types of vegetables, it can all be changed very easily and with great success. These are just my suggestions. I recommend using a variety of types of summer squash- visually this will create a more colorful dish, but they also vary in flavor, my favorites are the roundish green stripey ones, while S likes the solid yellow ones best.

1 Bunch Garlic Scapes (about 15 Scapes)
6 Small Summer Squash (or 3 large) 
3-4 Young Onions
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Slice summer squash into 1/4-1/2 thick slices, all of the approximate same size. 
Cut spring onions into halves or quarters, depending on size.
If you want to cut your scapes to make them more manageable, go ahead. I left mine whole, for presentations sake. 
Toss all vegetables in large bowl with a bit of olive oil. Use remaining olive oil in bottom of bowl to brush pan, add vegetables to pan, and salt and pepper to taste.
Roast for 15-20 Minutes, or until scapes look slightly browned and everything is soft. 
Serve immediately.

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