Next time I have guests, I think I will serve an appetizer plate like the one above. I was inspired by several recent blogs to make this delicious collection of roasted vegetables.
I frequently make roasted tomatoes, but I tried a slightly different technique based on this blog post from Orangette and this one from the Amateur Gourmet. The tomatoes were literally swimming in olive oil, much more than I typically use, and I followed the suggestion to sprinkle them with a bit of salt and sugar, some oregano, and roast them at a low heat. I threw a couple of whole heads of garlic into the mix as well.
I also made a roasted red pepper dip inspired by this blog posting from Cream Puffs in Venice. I roasted 2 red bell peppers on the grill until charred. After they had cooled, I pulled off as much skin as possible and cut them into chunks. I combined the peppers with 5 or 6 cloves of roasted garlic, juice of half a lemon, salt, and some fresh herbs from the garden (oregano, basil, and rosemary) and blitzed it for a minute or so in the food processor. It made a fresh and tangy dip.
There was a lot of oil left from the tomatoes and it was wonderfully flavored from the tomatoes and garlic. I brushed slices of baggette with the oil and toasted it. Ooooh, it was sooo good, I could have eaten just the bread alone! I put it all on a plate with a bit of goat cheese. I mixed and matched flavors on the bread and I enjoyed it so much that I made 2 meals of it. (Or it would be a perfect appetizer!)
When the baggette was gone, I took the remaining red pepper sauce, tomatoes, and roasted garlic and ran that through the food processor, too. I ended up with some of the best pasta sauce which I had for lunch over some penne the next day!