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Tuscan-Inspired Summer Roasted Veggies

 

No, I haven’t up and hopped the Atlantic. I have, however, been eating up one of my favourite Italian-inspired roasted veggie recipes. As you might imagine, one of the reasons I love these roasted veggies so much is they’re incredibly colourful. The way I see it, there are two types of roasted vegetable dishes: the ones we eat in the winter and the ones we eat in the summer.

Winter roasted vegetables are made with winter/root veggies – beets, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, parsnips, etc. These vegetables help ground us, are comforting in the cooler months, and provide us with the anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive nutrients we need to stay well. Where I live, winter is behind us and so we are released from the root veggies for a little while.

The summer roasted vegetables – well, watch out lightness and colour! This Tuscan-style roasted veggie side dish is made with red and yellow bell peppers, summer squash, fresh herbs, onions and garlic. It is great served at room temperature, too – making it an optimal dish for warm weather BBQs, picnics or to make and take up to your cottage as an easy, ready-made side dish. No matter what else goes on the plate, this dish will make it look pretty as can be. And did I mention delicious?

Creating a Great Texture for Roasted veggies

My technique for roasting vegetables is different from what you probably find in most recipes and cookbooks. A lot of instructions call for chopping everything into bite-sized pieces before tossing in oil and seasonings and popping the veggies in the oven. In my experience, this can lead to overcrowding the pan with veggies and so they steam and get mushy. Or the vegetables shrivel and get too sharp and crunchy.

My strategy is to cut the vegetables into very large pieces for roasting and then chop them into smaller bite-sized pieces for serving. This method leads to beautifully caramelized and perfectly cooked roasted vegetables.


What’s the Best Cookware to Roast Vegetables?

What we use to cook our food in is important. There are a few options in which to cook your roasted vegetables:

A baking sheet greased well or lined with parchment paper.

This is my preferred method of roasting veggies as baking sheets are a staple in most kitchens. While I aim to greatly reduce my use of kitchen disposables, using parchment is convenient for easy cleanup – and I will re-use the same piece of parchment several times so it’s not single-use.

A baking sheet with a stainless steel cooling rack on top.

Adding your vegetables on a cooling rack allows more air to circulate for even, full-veggie roasting.

A pizza pan or grilling tray with holes in the bottom.

As with the cooling rack, this type of tray allows for air circulation and even cooking.

A large cast iron pan.

Cast iron is oven-safe and naturally non-stick when seasoned properly. Just ensure you don’t crowd the pan too much when roasting.


Optimal Roasting Temperatures

If you are cooking with very stable cooking oil, such as ghee, coconut oil or avocado oil, I’d recommend roasting at up to 425–450 degrees.

When using something like olive oil with monounsaturated fats that are not as stable, I’d advise sticking between 350 and 400 to cut down on free radical production.

GRILLING VEGETABLES

Cooking on a campfire or a barbecue can mean less control over the heat. As a side note, cooking animal products over the high heats of a BBQ or campfire can lead to the production of harmful compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which may increase the risk of cancer.

Plant-based foods don’t form HCAs or PAHs over high heat; however, charring them to the extreme will destroy most of their nutrient value and cooking with unhealthy oils can contribute to free radical damage in the body.

Discover more healthful BBQ tips here.


What to Serve With Roasted Veggies

This Tuscan-inspired dish goes beautifully alongside:

You can also toss the veggies with cooked grains, beans, or an animal protein for a full-meal deal.

If there are other vegetables you’d like to experiment with (eggplant, mushrooms, etc.) go for it!

 

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Tuscan Summer Roasted Veggies

Tuscan-Inspired Summer Roasted Veggies


  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins

Description

A simple recipe for roasted veggies that is packed with flavour.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano (or dried flakes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash, dry and clean all vegetables, then cut them in half. Toss the veggies in the oil and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place all vegetables, including garlic, on an oven grill, pizza pan, or parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  4. Place grill into the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through but not overcooked. Remove from the oven and let cool just enough for handling.
  5. Slice all vegetables to desired thickness (about 1/2 inch to an inch), and peel and slice garlic cloves.
  6. In a large bowl or serving dish, combine the vegetables with the parsley and oregano. Mix well and season to taste. 
  • Category: Salad

Keywords: roasted veggies, summer veggies, summer, roasted vegetables, zucchini, peppers

Summer vegetables for roasting (or grilling)

3 responses to “Tuscan-Inspired Summer Roasted Veggies”

  1. Alisa - Frugal Foodie says:

    That looks so delicious!

  2. Leesie says:

    Here’s my plate…may I have some please? I love oregano much more than I ever have for some reason.

  3. Ashley says:

    Summer produce is the BEST!!! Have an amazing time at the cottage this weekend and I hope everything goes well

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