Monday, May 31, 2010

Scrumptious Sides for Summer: Escalivada

Happy Memorial Day all you pretty little modern housewives. This weekend means summer is finally upon us. One of my fave things about summer is fresh veggies and farmer's markets! My mama is in town visiting and we've had a fabulous weekend. We kicked it off with a trip to the ever famous farmer's market at the Ferry Building in SF where we found all kinds of delicious treats to compliment my Quail with Truffle Yaki Sauce which I made for dinner Saturday night. Apparently my mama was sick of just reading about all my fancy dinners and wanted to take part in one herself. She did and I think she was pretty darn pleased!

While perusing the farmer's market I got the idea to make Escalivada, a side dish I've made once before full of fresh yummy veggies, garlic, and herbs. This dish is incredibly simple and is made up of no more than chopping the veggies; tossing with vinegar and olive oil; roasting in the oven till tender; and finally tossing with the fresh herbs. The dish can also be grilled, which makes it even more perfect for summer!


1 globe eggplant, cut into large chunks (about 8 pieces)
3 bell peppers, assorted colors, quartered
2 heads garlic, broken into cloves but not peeled
2 zucchini, cut in half and into large chunks
2 yellow squash, cut in half and into large chunks
1 large red onion, cut into about 6 pieces
3 tomatoes, halved crosswise and quartered
a pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
dash of sherry or wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all vegetables in a large roasting pan. Add all garlic cloves, reserving 2, to pan. Sprinkle veggies with sugar, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and toss all ingredients until well coated.

Roast veggies turning once or twice so they don't burn or cook unevenly 30-40 minutes. Avoid turning too often as you don't want veggies to get mushy. You want them to hold their shape.

When veggies are tender remove from oven. Peel and finely chop the reserved garlic cloves and sprinkle over veggies, along with the parsley and rosemary. If serving bread with the meal, the whole roasted garlic cloves can be squeezed and spread onto the bread. Or feel free to squeeze some of the roasted garlic onto the veggie mixture after roasting.

Modern Housewife Tips:
1. Makes about 4-6 large servings so I typically cut it in half.
2. Try a dash of champagne vinegar in place of the wine or sherry vinegar. The taste is a bit milder so it doesn't overwhelm the veggies.
3. Be sure to watch the veggies while cooking as both times I've made this dish it's taken less than the the 40 minutes the recipe suggests. You don't want the vegetables to break down and be mushy.

photo and recipe adapted from The Williams Sonoma Cookbook 

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