Roasted vegetables with ricotta & carrot salad
Roasted vegetables & ricotta recipe
An easy and quick recipe for a vegetarian dinner, these roasted vegetables were delicious topped with lovely ricotta and served with a carrot / orange salad.
Like many of the dinners I cook it was one of those 'let's look in the fridge and see what we've got'. Half an eggplant, just one tomato, three carrots and a little ricotta was the result but those simple ingredients made a tasty dinner for two.
This is very easy to make, and by using some scallion tops from the garden, some garlic and a couple of wedges of lime, it managed to look reasonably elegant and featured some delicious flavors. I imagine that people who don't follow a meat-free diets would also enjoy these vegetables very much as they are ideal for an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a main dish.
I like recipes that are easy and he likes recipes that deliver dinner quickly so this fits the bill on both counts!
Photographs © BritFlorida.
Prepare the eggplant
Pre-heat the broiler to a medium heat. I used half a large eggplant and cut it into six thick slices. I also used three cloves of garlic, which I sliced, and about a tablespoon of olive oil. You might need a little more depending on the freshness of the eggplant. I find that the less fresh they are, the more oil they will absorb.
I don't peel the eggplant unless it has been around for a while. Young fresh eggplants don't need it.
Prepare the eggplant for roasting / broiling
You can roast the eggplant in a 400° oven but I prefer to broil them. Pour most of the olive oil into an ovenproof dish. Add the eggplant slices so that the undersides become coated in oil. Then turn them over so the other side becomes coated too. If any slices miss out on the oil, add a little more but they don't have to be fully coated on each side. Place garlic slices on top and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Place the dish under the grill.
Keep an eye on it as you don't want the garlic slices to burn - getting brown and golden is fine! You'll see when the slices are done, it will take about 5 - 10 minutes. When one side is cooked, turn and broil the other side.
Prepare the tomatoes & salad
SLICE THE TOMATOES
The photograph shows the other ingredients you'll need. Start by slicing the tomato. Because I had six eggplant slices, I sliced the tomato into six. By now, the eggplant slices are nicely cooked so add a slice of tomato directly on top of each eggplant slice. A tiny sprinkle of sugar is nice to add to add too and if my basil plant hadn't just withered away, I'd have added a little fresh basil too.
ADD TO THE DISH
The tomato slices I used were quite thin so they don't need cooking on both sides. They will only take a few minutes under the broiler which will give you time to clean the carrots.
ADD THE RICOTTA
Put a dollop (about a teaspoon full) of ricotta on top of the tomato slices and return to the broiler. This too will take only a few minutes too so you'll quickly prepare the salad. If I was making this for an elegant dinner party, I'd add the ricotta with a little more finesse. It would look great if added with a piping bag (but that's more cleanup to do) or fancied up by swirling a fork through the cheese. But we were hungry...
To make the salad, simply grate the carrots and add orange. I used sour orange from a bottle but fresh orange juice is lovely with carrot. Snip a scallion top on the salad too.
Serve with scallions and a slice of lime for the salad.
To serve two:
- Half a large eggplant
- 1 tomato
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 carrots
- 6 dollops ricotta
- Scallion greens and lime wedges to serve
More lovely dinnerware
Red dinnerware - serving plates, side plates and bowls - is the most popular on the market today. Colored dinner plates can be an interesting and inexpensive way to enhance your dinner table. Take time choosing your plates - after all the plate creates the 'frame' for your culinary masterpieces!
Note to vegans
I've never tried this but I imagine that a vegan cheese product could easily be used instead of the ricotta. If you try it, please let me know how it turned out! The sour orange contains no animal by products.
The photographs of the roasted vegetables and the ingredients were taken in my kitchen during the making of our dinner!