Dearest blog,

I am so sorry for having neglected you. I was packing and moving and traveling—I wasn’t just not blogging, I wasn’t cooking at all. It was a sad state of affairs.

But now I’m back, with a shiny new kitchen to boot! And thanks to a party I had last weekend, I have  thoroughly broken in that new kitchen. (In fact, I very nearly broke it.) Now I have a whole raft of new recipes to post about, and I will do my very best not to abandon you ever again.

One of my favorite dishes from the party was one of the simplest: this roasted vegetable spread. It’s  the contents of the ubiquitous (and usually not very good) roasted or grilled vegetable sandwich that is often the only vegetarian option at a sandwich shop, only reconfigured into something  absurdly delicious. I’m pretty sure this spread would make an amazing sandwich, especially with some feta cheese. I might have tested that if there had been any left, but no luck.

Sandwich in a bowl.

Roasted vegetable spread
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

1 medium eggplant
1 red bell pepper, seeded
1 red onion, peeled and cut into large wedges [if the pieces are too small, they’ll burn]
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Cut the eggplant and bell pepper into 1-inch cubes. On two baking sheets, toss eggplant and bell pepper with onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, rotating baking sheets and tossing once during cooking, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft.

Cool slightly. Place the vegetables into food processor with tomato paste. Pulse three or four times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

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