Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Roast-a-thon: Summer Squashes and Roasted Veggie Pizza

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting a series of recipes for roasted vegetables, because I'm addicted to them. I love the way roasting brings out the natural sweetness of veggies, and I'm crazy in love with the crispy browned edges. Welcome to the Roast-a-thon!

This first Roast-a-thon post is a recipe that comes with a vocabulary lesson!

What is a summer squash? It's any type of squash that is picked while immature, meaning when the rind and seeds are still soft. The name "summer" squash is not actually a reference to the growing period at all. Rather, it was simply to distinguish them from "winter" squashes - so named in a time before modern refrigeration because they could be stored throughout the winter without going bad.

The most common summer squashes are yellow squash (crook-neck or straight-neck) and zuchinni (green or gold). Outside the U.S., zuchinni is often called courgette.

Also included in this recipe is guinea squash, which is not actually a squash at all. It is a member of the nightshade family, related to tomatoes. You may know it as an aubergine, or eggplant. But it cooks like a squash, so I'm counting it.


Roasted Summer Squash

Any amount of zuchinni, yellow squash, and eggplant
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the amount pictured on the right, I used 3 small green zuchinni, one large gold zuchinni, 2 medium yellow crookneck squash, and one small Italian eggplant. That was two baking-sheets worth.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Slice the squash on the bias (diagonally).

For the recipe pictured, I sliced it fairly thin because I was using it on pizza. As a side dish, I'd have made it 1/2 inch slices.

Place the squash in a gallon storage bag, and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil (depending on how much squash you cut). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then seal the bag and knead it gently with your hands to toss and coat all the squash evenly. Add a bit more olive oil if needed to lightly coat.

Spread the squash in a single later on a baking sheet. If you've sliced it thin, bake for 30 minutes or until it begins to brown and crisp on the thinner edges. If you've sliced it thick, bake for 15 minutes, turn over each piece, then bake for another 15 - 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown.

A bonus recipe for your squashes...

Roasted Veggie Pizza

1 prepared pizza crust
1 4-oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup roasted eggplant, zuchinni, and squash
2 baby bella mushroom slices
1/4 cup roasted red pepper
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts
2 tbsp shredded onion
2 tbsp black olive rings
4 spinach or basil leaves, torn.
garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Olive oil cooking spray.

Preheat oven according to crust instructions. Spray the edges of the crust with cooking spray. Cover crust with tomato sauce. Sprinkle sauce with garlic powder, salt, and Italian seasoning to taste. Top with roasted vegetables, mushtrooms, artichokes, onions, spinach or basil, and black olives. Bake according to crust instructions. Broil for one minute if mushrooms and onions are not cooked through.



  1. Someone asked about help with vegan issues so I pointed them in your direction. :)

    What do you use for slicing aside from the trusty chef's knife? I confess I'm addicted to my (admittedly cheapo) mandolin slicer, but the slices are sometimes a wee bit thin for my taste.

  2. Thank you for that! I'm always ready to answer questions. :-)

    I admit, I'm totally low-tech in the kitchen. I have a mandolin, I'm pretty sure I have slicing attachments that came with the Cuisinart, but I just use a good ol' fashioned knife for pretty much everything.

    1. The mandolin I have is a pain to clean, but it makes for awesome high-speed, uniform slicing.

      Have you watched Ratatouille? The climax of the movie when they make the titular dish is an awesome display of culinary art. They roast the veggies, by the way!