Oven Roasted Vegetables

I have discovered over the years how much I truly love vegetables.  For those of you who don’t know, I gag over mashed and baked potatoes.  I guess its the mushy, soft texture that gets to me.  I can’t say I truly hate potatoes though, because I LOVE oven-roasted potatoes!!! In my opinion, Brio Tuscan Grille has the absolute BEST oven roasted vegetables in the entire world.  If you have not tried them, then you must!  I went on my first date with my husband-to-be, Matt at Brio.  The funny thing is, my mom and sister went on that first date with me.  No, my family is not weird, or overly protective, it is just that I met Matt at church on a Sunday morning and he offered to take my family out to eat afterwards.  Of course no one said “no”, so my mom and sister (my dad was out of town), ended up at Brio on my date with Matt!  As most of you know, my husband is a pretty talkative guy…not a shy bone in his body.  At the end of the date, I was clueless as to if he liked me or not.  At that point, since Matt had been so friendly by telling us so many intriguing stories from his college days, I thought he was just being nice and was interested in becoming a member of our church, not date me.  I sure liked him though!  Long story short, within four months, Matt and I were sitting at Brio, this time ALONE, the night he decided to propose to me!  
Since Brio has such wonderful vegetables, I’ve been on the lookout for a substitute that I can make at home.  Well, these Oven Roasted Vegetables from the Houston Junior League cookbook are a close second!  Brio’s vegetables are still my favorite because they are extremely crispy…just how I like them.  This recipe on the other hand, gives off a wonderful aroma from the fragrant Italian seasonings that make these vegetables appealing to the pickiest of eaters.  We omitted the eggplant because we didn’t have any, and substituted a yellow bell pepper for a green one.  Use your favorite vegetables in this dish, and roast using the delicious olive oil drizzle.  
Here is a cooking tip from the Stop and Smell the Rosemary cookbook:  “High-heat roasting in a 425 to 450 degree oven is a cooking technique which produces a crisp outer layer and moist inner layer.  The result is delicious whether roasting meats, fish, or vegetables.  When roasting vegetables, use a roasting pan large enough to keep them uncrowded and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  A nicely browned appearance will indicate doneness.” 
Red and Yellow bell pepper and fresh mushrooms.

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings.

Drizzle over chopped vegetables.

Roast in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.  Stir in eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms and roast for an additional 10 minutes.

Oven Roasted Vegetables
10 tiny red new potatoes, unpeeled (if available, cut large ones into quarters)
10 baby carrots
1 small white onion, cut into wedges
1 small red onion, but into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or rosemary, or a combination 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 small eggplant, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
10 to 15 whole fresh mushrooms
1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  
2.  Place potatoes, carrots, and onions in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Mix olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper, and lemon pepper in a small bowl.  Drizzle over vegetables and toss.
3.  Roast uncovered 20 to 30 minutes.  Stir in eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms.  Roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.
Yield:  6 to 8 servings
Stop and Smell the Rosemary:  Recipes and Traditions to Remember;  The Junior League of Houston, Texas.

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