If you’ve ever been to a steakhouse and aren’t a steak person, you’ve probably noticed that the veggies are an afterthought. Under/over-seasoned, under/overcooked, generally unattended to and unloved. I don’t know if this is because they assume nobody eats them anyway, but if you’re only really eating the veggies, it’s not that cool. And even if you’re there for the steak, why should the guys it’s sharing a plate with be overlooked, especially with all of the menu brags that the steak quality gets?
I think about food too much, but I do still think this is a strange oversight. And I’m definitely not telling you to go to a steakhouse; I’m actually hoping to show you how to show up to a friendly, omnivorous bbq without being the guy who brought the hummus.
These particular veggies were roasted in the oven. We don’t do a lot of bbq-ing around here, and I don’t grill for my clients either, the heat is too high, damaging fats and those blackened bits are pretty carcinogenic (it’s hard to un-know things, you guys). However, I’m not a total wet blanket, my husband LOVES bbq-ing, more than he likes most things, and in the summer it’s easy and feels laid back and fun, the way summer should. So we do bbq sometimes, and when we do, along with both of these burger recipes, this radicchio and this wedge salad, this is what we make.
It just so happens that those same steakhouse veggies that get over-oiled and under-loved do really well on the grill and exceptionally well in the oven. The trick for the oven is to cut them into sizes that allow them to cook at about the same speed as their pals. This may take a bit of practice, but you can look at the picture where I’ve done it, or err on the side of caution and cut the stuff that you don’t like undercooked (onions?) smaller and stuff that you don’t like overcooked (zucchini?) bigger.
This is the Crushing Cancer Kitchen, so although these veggies grill well, we are going to move forward assuming you are going to roast them in your oven, the way we have done for this recipe. It still makes for great bbq potluck food, show up with this platter of understated but well-executed awesomeness and you will have people following you around asking you for the recipe (you can take full credit, I don’t mind).
The same goes for if you are throwing a meaty bbq and have some veggie and/or health-conscious friends coming. Everyone appreciates a good salad or crudité platter, but this will knock their socks off. It is as delicious at room temp as it is warm, so you can toss the raw ingredients together with the marinade the night before, or just pre-oven, roast them up an hour before serving, and they will be in perfect shape to shine by the time you or your guests arrive at the party.
And then there are the beans. Those little suckers would obviously fall through the grill cracks, but they are a most hearty and delicious addition to the roasted version of this recipe. They also add protein, fiber and a general feeling of satisfaction to this recipe. Not only that but they take the place of the bread that the glutton in me thought this recipe would be great with.
I suppose, beyond the way you cut your vegetables, the marinade is the real magic here. It is deeply flavourful and full of herby, anticancer powers. You don’t have to tell anyone that, in my experience, it doesn’t make the best party banter, but like most things that are genuinely very good for us, the herbs make it all taste very rich and flavourful. If you have a bumper crop of zucchini (or tomatoes, or eggplant…) this marinade, tossed only one type of veg would be amazing too. It would also be so good with just the white bean, roasted on their own, a nice alternative to a pasta or potato salad.
I’m introducing this as party/bbq/potluck/beer and dancing food, but I actually made and shot this on a nothing weekday morning. My husband had it for breakfast, I had it for lunch and my 6 month old (!) had her first tomato, roasted garlic and beans. Like a true gourmand, she loved it all, but since has been deeply unsatisfied by my pedestrian combos of lentils and carrots and sweet potatoes and black beans.
Anyway, where I’m going with this, is you can make this, as is, for dinner tonight, even just for you. Eat it again tomorrow and then add a bit of water or stock the next day, blender up some of it and call it summer soup. Or take it to a bbq party, or make it for a party and leave it in your fridge ‘by accident’ and have a delicious day after the party.
- 5 Roma Tomatoes, halved (any tomatoes, but these are fleshier, so roast well) (omit if nightshade sensitive)
- 10 Crimini Mushrooms, squashed with your hand (or 2 portobellos)
- 1 medium Red Onion, cut into 6ths-8ths, root intact
- 1 medium Zucchini, cut into large chunks
- 2 Bell Peppers, cored and cut into large chunks (omit if nightshade-sensitive)
- 2-6 Jalapeños, halved
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 2 c cooked White Beans
- ⅓ c Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (or avocado oil)
- 6-8 Garlic Cloves, crushed/minced
- 1 tsp Dried Chili Flakes (omit if nightshade-sensitive)
- 2 tsp dried Oregano
- 2 Tbsp of fresh Thyme, roughly chopped (mine was tender so I chopped it up whole but if not, just pull off the leaves)
- 2 Tbsp fresh Rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp dijon Mustard
- Sea(weed) Salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350*F
- Toss together in a large bowl with the marinade until well coated.
- Spread out evenly onto two large parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Serve right away or at room temp.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- If all ingredients are covered in the oil, keeps for several weeks in the fridge.