Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Roasting Summer Days

It's summer!

This probably isn't news to the rest of you, but up here in The Last Frontier, we just had our first 70+ degree day.

Kids are pink-cheeked from outdoor exertion. Flowers are turning their open faces toward the sun. I'm blooming in my own way, with freckles and red highlights.

And, in the spirit of warmth and vibrancy and health, I'm setting aside the computer (and the e-reader, and the smart phone) and getting outdoors. Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to step away from all the obligations and ambitions. They will be there tomorrow. Heck, you might find yourself gravitating blissfully toward them after some time off. But take some time for what's happening right now that won't be happening next week or next season - or at least leave it on the table as an option.

Eating healthy is a year-round journey in Casa Jacques, but today I'm focused on eating the freshest of the fresh. Local produce and fish, mostly. Straight-from-the-dirt herbs in almost everything. Following is a recipe for roasted summer vegetables, which I suspect would also make fantastic kabobs, or fantastabobs if you're into efficient language.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Scallions

Veggies, Pre-Roast (Please note this is about 1/3 less than the recipe calls for)

1.5 lbs. cherry tomatoes
1 bunch scallions, cut in one-inch pieces, discarded top three inches of green
1 zucchini, cut diagonal in 1/4-inch thick pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 T olive oil
2 T fresh basil (1 t if using dried)
3/4 t salt

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the veggies with the oil and salt and basil (but only if using dried. If using fresh, reserve). Roast for 15 minutes, tossing twice, or until the tomatoes begin to burst. Remove from oven. If using fresh basil, stir in with vegetables while hot to release flavor.

Serve as a side dish, mixed with pasta or atop chicken or fish. We went the chicken and pasta route, adding grilled, sliced chicken and dusting with fresh parmesan cheese.

Dishes like this are simple and bursting with flavor. I was so astounded by the sweet complexity of the tomatoes that I'll likely spend the summer experimenting with roasted tomato marinara sauces. Hopefully you'll find something local that obsesses you catches your attention as well. Bon App├ętit.


  1. Yum! I love roasted veggies of all sorts. And yes, tomatoes seem to take on a new attitude when they're prepared that way. Thanks for the recipe and the advice : )

    1. New attitude is exactly right, and it's wonderful!