Autumn is just starting to show her face around here. Even if we don’t have the tell tale signs of fall colors that East Coaster’s have, I can see the little changes as we creep into the new season. The days are getting shorter, the mornings cooler, but the afternoons are still pleasantly summery. I have to admit, I get a little nostalgic at this time of year. Knowing I won’t being seeing those warm summery afternoons for much longer, or the vibrant colors of the last of the summer’s harvest makes me resent the arrival of the new season. I know soon I’ll be craving heartier, warm and comforting foods, and I’ll embrace that feeling when it comes. For now I want to enjoy the last that summertime has to offer and scoop up those beautiful jewel toned eggplants, tomatoes and zucchini that are in such abundance towards the end of summer. The zucchini was especially slender and small, a delicate green; the eggplant deeply purple glossy beauties, and the tomatoes heavy and firm. It wasn’t long before I had gathered them all; my heart set on making something that would capture the best of the last of summer. The ensuing marinated roasted vegetables are the perfect illustration of how good eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes become even better when left to their own devices for a while in the oven. Blitzed in a hot oven to concentrate and sweeten their flavors, they emerge slumped and slightly shrunken, the tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini softening into one another, profuse with their juices. The roasted vegetables are soothed with olive oil and packed into jars with garlic and thyme. They keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks, and are convenient to have on hand to invigorate all manner of dishes. Pin It
Use sparingly as a condiment or generously as a main ingredient. I enjoy them cold in sandwiches, on top of grilled left-over polenta, and re-warmed in a lentil salad with goat cheese.
Now as for autumn, I’ll face it right on with open arms, just as soon as I finish my last jar.
RECIPE: Marinated Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomatoes with Garlic and Thyme
- 4 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
- 3 small eggplants, thinly sliced into rounds
- 6 or 7 medium sized tomatoes, quartered or sliced into rounds depending on size (or alternatively 1 basket cherry or grape-sized tomatoes, halved)
- 4 large fresh thyme sprigs
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup / 240ml (or more) extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C).
- Arrange the zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Scatter the leaves from 2 thyme sprigs and garlic cloves over. Drizzle with some of the olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Roast for about 45 minutes or until tender, turning the vegetables over occasionally; until they shrink slightly but are still plump and moist.
- Layer the hot vegetables, peeled roasted garlic cloves and remaining fresh sprigs of thyme, into into sterilized jars, filling them to the very top. (You can use one large jar or a few smaller ones.)
- Cover the vegetables completely with the rest of the extra virgin olive oil and put the lids on tightly.
- Put the jars aside until they’re cool.
- Refrigerate at least 48 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Bring to room temperature before using.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Copyright © 2010-2011 gourmande in the kitchen.
How are you enjoying the first days of fall?
Come share in the tomato love at the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day, sponsored this week by KitchenAid. Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.