Eggplant and Friends Veggie Roast

By Margaret Krome-Lukens

1 pint of "Fairy Tale" eggplants (10 to 12 fruits; or substitute with another variety)
1-2 pints of small potatoes
1-2 pints of cherry tomatoes
2 large zucchini or yellow squash
3-4 medium onions
1/3 to ½ cup of olive oil
4-6 large cloves of garlic
Small bunch of fresh parsley (about 1/3 or ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley leaves)
Salt and pepper

"Salt" the eggplant (this draws out any bitterness). Cut into thick (1/2 inch) coins, sprinkle with coarse salt and toss to mix. Set in a colander on a plate for 30 m inutes to 2 hours. Brown liquid will come out of the eggplant; discard. Salting may not be necessary for smaller or younger eggplants but is definitely a good idea for older, larger fruits.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Crush or dice the garlic. Cove r it in the olive oil, but keep enough olive oil aside to grease the baking pans. De-stem the parsley and chop the leaves into small pieces. Add the parsley to the garlic/oil mixture and let it sit while you chop the rest of the veggies.

Cut the zucchini or squash into half-inch coins. Slice at least some of the cherry tomatoes in half so that their juice can mix with the oil and the rest of the veget ables while roasting. Cut the potatoes into pieces slightly thinner than the eggplant and zucchini. Slice the onions into large chunks.

Combine everything into a large bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste and tossing so that all the vegetables get well covered in oil. Grease two baking sheets and divide the mixture between them.

Cook at 350 degrees, checking every 15 or 20 minutes to make sure the veggies aren’t sticking to the pan. When you can easily stick a fork in the potatoes, the rest of the vegetables should be done as well, though you can wait a few minutes longer if you want a softer roast. Cooking time is about 40-50 minutes.