Ironically, it’s when the garden is absolutely bursting with vegetables that I least feel like cooking. Hot summer days make me want to stay outside until dark. I don’t want to go inside to stand over a hot stove. I’d be happy to walk through the garden “grazing” instead of sitting down to a meal.
The good thing is that with so many vegetables at their best, summer cooking need not be elaborate. Simply prepared, and lightly cooked, fresh summer vegetables are at their best. Here is my absolute favourite simple summer meal. Though this dish does heat the kitchen, it’s quick to prepare and doesn’t need watching, so you can sit on the porch with a cool drink while it bakes.
Chop a selection of vegetables into large chunks. Any of the following do nicely:
Tomato (whole cherry tomatoes are especially nice)
Sweet corn (still on the cob, cut each ear into about 4 chunks)
Beets/beetroot (sliced to about 3mm so it cooks fully)
Put the vegetables into a wide baking dish, along with 2 cloves of sliced garlic, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over the vegetables, and toss until evenly coated. Bake at 230°C (450°F) for about 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.