Roasted Vegetables, Mallorca Style

After a special weekend breakfast this past Saturday, I poured myself a second cup of coffee and as is my wont I did the daily Sudoku and then started thumbing through magazine recipes.  I tore several recipes out and left them in a pile on the kitchen table while I went off to water some houseplants.  When I came back to the kitchen, I found Roger holding this recipe with its eye-catching photo which had been topmost on the pile.

The recipe had us both at “eggplant” which we just love and could eat on a daily basis—and throw in roasted eggplant, at that, along with bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic.  Please—where do we sign up?

As I looked at the recipe for this Spanish version of roasted vegetables, I was struck once again at just how much overlap there is between Italian and Spanish cooking with their mutual use of olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes.  What’s not to love about using this perfect Mediterranean trio of ingredients as a base for so many dishes?

A mere day and a few hours later, these vegetables graced our dinner table.  The dish was everything we thought it would be.  The smell of the rosemary and thyme had permeated the kitchen while the vegetables were roasting, and all the flavors melded so well.  Roger grilled some chicken marinated in Italian dressing, and the vegetables were the perfect complement along with a green salad to round out the meal.  We didn’t talk for about five minutes—we just kept taking bites and looked at each other while we nodded our heads in unspoken agreement.  This is a keeper!

One year ago:  Chicken Bruschetta

Two years ago:  Zucchini Bread

Roasted Vegetables, Mallorca Style

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4” slices – peeled or unpeeled, your choice
  • 2 red and 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1” strips
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4” slices
  • Sea salt
  • 4 plum tomatoes, halved and grated, discarding skin
  • 6 to 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 to 10 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and split

Directions

Preheat oven to 375o.

Cook vegetables in batches, using 1 to 2 tablespoons hot oil per batch, in large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute one each side.  Arrange single layer of potatoes in a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; season with salt.  Top with 1 tablespoon tomatoes and 2 to 3 small sprigs each of thyme and rosemary.  Repeat process using remaining vegetables and herbs.

Tuck garlic among vegetable layers.  Drizzle top with remaining olive oil.  Bake 30 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Notes

Next time I make this, I plan to mince the garlic and distribute it evenly among the layers.  I think this will create more of a garlic hit.  I also think a liberal sprinkling of Romano or Parmesan cheese between layers would be a nice addition.  Yes, I do like my garlic and cheese!

Source:   A recipe from People magazine adapted from the Miami Bazaar restaurant’s Chef José Andrés’ cookbook, Made in Spain

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