Rain, rain go away, come again another day! The weather in New Jersey is once again looking pretty bleak.
At least the color yellow always tends to boost my mood on those gloomy days. It's an upbeat color – one I like to use in my decor and, of course, in my food. Summer veggies like okra, summer squash, corn and eggplant are oh-so-delicious and their colors tend to chipper me up, as well.
Okra is still very new to me in terms of cooking with it. It's also one odd-looking veggie, if you ask me. I usually like to roast it. I find it develops a very nice flavor and also pairs well with other veggies. This panzanella recipe brings all the summer veggie goodness together in one dish. It's like they're having a party... in a place where the sun is actually shining and it's 80°. Enjoy. And have a great and hopefully warmer memorial day weekend than us peeps here in NJ!
Roasted Summer Veggie Panzanella
1 small eggplant, diced into 1-inch squares
8 ounces of okra, rinsed, drained and dried. Trim away stem ends and the tips
1 summer squash, diced into 1-inch squares
1 cup of corn, frozen
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of cannellini beans, rinsed
8 ounces whole wheat ciabatta, crust removed and discarded.
4 ounces of Halloumi, diced about 3/4 cup
for the dressing :
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Make it :
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until toasted and golden. Set aside.
Increase heat to 425°. On another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place okra, corn, eggplant and summer squash in one layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing veggies half way.
In the meantime prepare dressing. In a separate smaller bowl, combine oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt. Stir with a whisk
Once the 30 minutes are up, add the cannellini beans and halloumi to the roasted veggies and bake for 10 more minutes. In a large bowl, combine the roasted veggies and the bread and pour the dressing over it, gently tossing it. Serve right away (while the halloumi is still warm). Voila!
Note : You can also add some chopped basil (1/4 cup) and thinly sliced red onion (1/2 cup) to this panzanella for added flavor.
How do you cook okra? Post a comment. I would love to hear how you prepare this strange-looking vegetable.