Roasted Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, and Eggplant is summer in a pot. Or, more specifically a cast iron skillet that adds that rustic feel to this summery one pot meal and will not keep you stationed at the stove for hours.
What types of foods do you associate with summer? Usually, I am not super focused on cooking according to the season. Even though it’s the dead of summer, I may throw caution to the wind and make a bowl of rich comforting stew because that is what I am craving.
With that said, summer is synonymous with colorful veggies and simple preparations often times, which all I want for dinner. Gorgeous, vibrant vegetables cooked just so to let their flavors shine.
Why should you make Roasted Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, and Eggplant?
Have you heard the saying, “Eat the Rainbow?” Whether it’s a deep purple eggplant or a bright orange carrot, the brilliant coloring in vegetables is usually indicative of the specific type of nutrients it offers. If you eat a variety of colors (eating the rainbow, per say), you will get a variety of nutrients.
Ok, so we get that eating vegetables is healthy, but that is not the ONLY reason we eat food, correct? Heck no! Taste is important, and this Roasted Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, and Eggplant is delicious as well as simple to make. As long as you can slice vegetables and arrange them in a pattern, you have all it takes for this recipe.
But, wait, there’s more…and it’s all in the details.
Although the veggies can easily stand on their own, you can add an extra bit of pizazz to these gorgeous vegetables with some pesto. Add some dollops (I have always wanted to use that word in a blog post) of pesto after the vegetables are done baking in the oven.
Even though pesto is primarily a pasta thing, it is fun to think outside of the box. I love experimenting (aka “playing”) in the kitchen and using standard ingredients in different ways. Mixing and matching like this may not always yield tasty results, but it gives you more freedom in the kitchen. It is not always fun to be bound by the limitations of a recipe.
I guess that may be a somewhat odd statement to put in a post written about a recipe, huh?
Pesto- Homemade or store-bought?
That is definitely the question. Either way you can’t go wrong. The main idea with the pesto is to add a punch of flavor to the already gorgeous tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant. If you have a pesto that you usually make, then go for it. Otherwise, find your favorite store-bought pesto and use that. Let’s be honest, sometimes we need the convenience factor.
Although I would usually opt for the whole “winging it” option for making my pesto, I was fortunate to have a little bird whispering advice in my ear for this recipe. To be more precise, I had a very sweet girl (friend of the family sort-of-thing) from Italy guiding me in what the pesto tastes like back in her home of Milan, Italy.
For the past few weeks she has been staying with us to practice her English and help me with my energetic boys. In more ways than one she has been a God send and we will all be sad to say goodbye. Before she leaves, I am trying to learn as much about what food is like in her home and some of her favorite recipes.
As I was making the Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, and Eggplant for dinner, I asked her if she would help me make a pesto like her family would have back home. We put the basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese into the blender. After a quick blend, I had her taste what I thought was a perfect pesto.
Umm, not perfect. “Needs more cheese,” she said.
Although I doubted her advice (being I am so familiar with Italian cooking…please sense the sarcasm here), I added more parmesan cheese. Blend again. Taste again. Oh my goodness! Now that is what pesto should taste like.
By the way I was licking the spoon you, would have thought it was cookie dough. I have yet to write down a solid recipe, but I can guarantee I will post one in the near future. We all need a pesto recipe in our back pocket.
Summery goodness on a plate.
This Roasted Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant dish lets the summer produce shine.For the pesto, you can add it to the skillet after you pull from oven. Alternatively, you could top each serving individually or skip it all together. As I mentioned, the pesto isn’t necessary, but it adds a wonderful flavor addition. Add in a rustic baguette (think crusty exterior with soft interior…yum!) and a glass of prosecco and this meal will make any summer night special.
If you make this recipe for your family and/or friends, I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below or tag @breaking_bread_with_ashley on Instagram.
Roasted Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, and Eggplant
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 large yellow squash optional
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼-1/3 cup pesto See Note 1
- Basil for garnish
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Using a knife or a mandolin, slice the tomatoes, squash and eggplant about ¼ inch thick. Do eggplant first so it can sit in salt while you cut remaining vegetables. Take the eggplant and place on flat surface or in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let sit while you prepare remaining ingredients. (See Note 2)
- Rinse salt from eggplant and pat dry with paper towel. Combine all vegetables in bowl and lightly toss vegetables in olive oil until coated. Season with salt and pepper.
- Lightly coat pan (Recipe in pictures is a 10inch cast iron) with olive oil as well and then place vegetables and tomatoes in spiral fashion alternating between each one. There is no specific order so do what you would like. You can also add in extra tomatoes as well if you have them.
- Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. The eggplant takes the longest to cook so test it for doneness.
- Remove from oven and top with pesto. Alternatively, you can top the individual servings with pesto or leave off completely.