Roasting vegetables has become my “thing”. It’s my go-to for cooking just about anything–like this Burrata cheese and roasted vegetable stack– because the flavors are so good. When you roast something, the flavors intensify because the liquid is released and flavors concentrate. Very little fuss is needed beyond a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil to bring out the best in any vegetable.
The opposite happens when you boil or steam a vegetable. Do it too long, and you end up with a waterlogged, bland and floppy excuse for a veggie on your plate. No wonder so many people don’t like to eat their vegetables.
Whether you love to eat your vegetables or not, this recipe will blow your mind. There’s the creamy-sweet taste of eggplant, mild zucchini and yellow squash, and an intense zing from the tomato, all combined with deliriously-buttery Burrata cheese. Combine that with a drizzle of 18-year-old Balsamic vinegar and I guarantee clean plates. It’s a Meatless Monday (or any day) recipe everyone will love. I served mine with a side of angle hair pasta tossed in extra virgin olive oil and some fresh herbs. It’s that simple.
It’s also a meal you will pay a good amount of money for in a good restaurant. Instead, you get to eat your roasted vegetable & Burrata cheese stack in your pajamas on the couch, while catching up on past episodes of Game of Thrones. The baby is sleeping and your husband leans over to kiss your cheek saying, “kiss the cook,” because that’s what he does every time you cook a good (or bad) meal. Who could ask for more?
More roasted vegetable recipes:
Try this Burrata appetizer recipe:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/190 degrees C
Slice the eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini into 1/2-inch discs, crosswise. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat.
Note: You may need to use two sheet pans to roast all of the vegetables depending on size. In that case, use more olive oil. The tomatoes release a lot of liquid, so it's best to cook them separately.
Place the vegetables in the oven to roast for 20 minutes, turning once during cooking. Remove the vegetables from the oven when they are lightly browned and tender. The tomatoes should be shrunken in size and collapsed. Plate them warm, or allow to cool to room temperature.
Stack the vegetables on serving plates, alternating each type so you have 2 slices of eggplant, 2 slices of zucchini, 2 slices of yellow squash, 1 tomato (or 4 cherry) and 1 green onion per plate.
Slice the Burrata in half and scoop onto the stack using a spoon. Drizzle the plate with balsamic vinegar.
One of the few pre-packaged baby foods my little one eats on a consistent basis is Happy Family’s organic Amaranth Ratatouille. It’s slightly textured with grains of quinoa and filled with yummy vegetables. I decided to make something similar at home and it tastes even better than the one in the store. This homemade baby food quinoa ratatouille is filled with zucchini, eggplant, sweet peppers, squash and tomato, with the addition of quinoa.
If you haven’t jumped on the quinoa train yet, making it for your baby is a good start. It cooks quickly and is full of protein, fiber, iron, antioxidants and other good-for-you stuff. The tiny seed is small enough for baby to eat, which is why you find it in many of my recipes, and in the store brands as well. Did you know The Food and Agriculture Organization of the Nations named 2013 “The International Year of the Quinoa?” I just found that out.
Back to the ratatouille. This is the same dish featured in the movie by the same name, and the baby food version is yummy. I tried some, my husband tried some. Grandma would have eaten the whole bowl if we let her. It’s really flavorful and healthy too!
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, eggplant, sweet pepper, zucchini, tomato, tomato paste, quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa has "sprouted" and the vegetables are tender. Add more broth if necessary during cooking.
Remove from the heat and stir in fresh herbs and cheese. Puree in a food processor until you reach the desired consistency, adding additional vegetable broth or water if needed.