This is such an easy and tasty recipe that I return to it time and time again. For me, roast vegetables are one of the most delicious and comforting foods and I often mix them with a variety of things – pasta, grains, eggs, or in this case bread!
You can use whatever vegetables you prefer but personally, I love the addition of fennel and lemon within this dish as it adds a fresh and summery feel. Particularly great for this gorgeous weather we are having at the moment. These make a perfect lunch or dinner. Great served up with a glass of wine or maybe a cold beer and enjoyed in the sunshine.
This recipe serves 2 – 4 (depending on how hungry you are) but you can easily double up the amounts to make a simple but effective dish for a larger group.
1 bulb of fennel
1 large brown / red onion
1/2 a Courgette
1 Yellow Pepper
A handful of Cherry Tomatoes
A handful of Fresh Basil
3 cloves of garlic
2 balls of Mozzarella
2 small Ciabattas
2tbsp of Green Pesto
1tsp of dried Oregano
2tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 180 degrees and in the mean time find a medium to large roasting tin or baking tray. Cut the fennel, onion and lemon into eighths and chuck them into the pan. Now halve the tomatoes and garlic cloves before slicing the courgettes and pepper into rough 2cm chunks. Add all of these to the pan, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle over the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Mix them all up, so they are all nicely coated in the oil and seasoning and pop them straight into the oven for around 25mins, or until they are soft to the touch and the lemon is slightly caramelised.
Whilst the veggies roast away in the oven you can prepare your ciabatta, mozzarella and garnish. Slice your ciabattas in half, as if making a sandwich and then proceed to cut your two mozzarella balls into 1cm rounds. Wash and dry your basil before then tearing it roughly by hand. Line a baking try with tin foil and place the ciabatta halves on top.
Once the vegetables are cooked and ready, remove them from the oven and divide them over the ciabatta halves, followed by the mozzarella and a healthy drizzle of pesto. Place them back in the oven for around 5 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted.
Remove them from the oven and serve them up! Garnish with the basil and settle down and tuck in!
You can mix this up by adding or substituting in courgettes, mushrooms and leeks – whatever you have in the fridge! Sometimes I like to serve this with some plain salad leaves, just to add some extra freshness to the dish.