May 26, 2011

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Asparagus is a beautiful spring vegetable, a wonderful ingredient for late May. Native to the old world, asparagus has been cultivated with the young shoot being consumed by humans for thousands of years appearing in the likes of Roman cookbooks and Egyptian friezes. Because of its wide appeal, asparagus lends itself well to any number of dishes and cooking techniques, but tends to shine with minor cooking. Balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, garlic and honey provide and deliciously neutral flavor palate for roasted vegetables, so that they may be paired with many different entrées or eaten on their own as an appetizer, salad or snack. Balsamic roasted vegetables could easily be paired with an stuffed peppers, homemade pizza or a chicken tagine.

This recipe also works well on the grill. Different combination of vegetables and herbs may be used depending upon availability.

½ lb asparagus, trimmed

2 medium summer squash, trimmed and sliced lengthwise and ¼" thick

1 medium red bell pepper, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1" segments

1 medium red onion, trimmed and sliced lengthwise and ½" thick

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 medium clove garlic, smashed

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground pepper

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped

1. Arrange vegetables evenly in a large glass-baking dish. Combine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour over vegetables and gently toss to evenly coat. Cover vegetables, place in refrigerator and marinate overnight, gently tossing occasionally.

2. In a single layer, arrange marinated squash, asparagus and bell pepper on a large baking sheet with edges. Spread onions and garlic on top of vegetables.

3. Preheat broiler. Broil vegetables for 5-7 minutes, until asparagus and onions are done. Remove asparagus, onions and garlic, flip squash and bell pepper, return to broiler for 2-3 minutes, until done. Once done, remove vegetables from heat and set aside

4. Meanwhile, place marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring marinade to a simmer and continue simmering until marinade has been reduced and thickened, about half as thick. Remove reduction from heat, cool slightly and add freshly chopped herbs.

5. Spoon reduction over vegetables before serving. Serve vegetables warm, room temperature or chilled.

Serves 3-4


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