Few things make me happier in a kitchen than when all my tools cooperate with me in the preparation of a delicious meal for my family. Seriously, have you ever tried to dice tomatoes only to end up with a soupy pile of mashed up tomato pulp? Nothing puts me in a contrary mood in the kitchen faster than a dull knife. This Stoplight Vegetable Dish is one that has the potential to be quite beautiful (not to mention delicious), if you use a sharp knife to get the job done. It is the perfect side for every kind of meat, and is a great dish to take to potluck dinners too. Maybe it will even make it onto your Thanksgiving table!
Growing up, I remember watching my dad whip up delicious meals in the kitchen. Before he started any dish that required slicing or dicing anything, he would always pull out the big file-like knife sharpener. Back and forth and back and forth he would draw the blades against that file. Oh, how it would grate on my nerves to hear that! "Why must you do that every time you cook, Dad?" I would ask him. He would just smile and keep sharpening before diving into the cooking process.
As an adult with my own kitchen, I soon realized how very important it was to have sharp knives in my arsenal of tools. Not only does it make food prep so much easier and more efficient, but it is safer than drawing a dull knife across foods with tough skins in a sawing motion. Time and again, I have had to stop what I am doing and open the drawer to pull out a different (sharper) knife to get the job done. No more... I was recently sent a Calphalon Self-Sharpening Cutlery Set to try out and it has made all the difference. No more frustration, just smooth slicing and dicing.
I have picked up some professional pointers about slicing fruits and veggies on the Calphalon Knife Skills videos too, like this one for tomatoes! You have to check out the other videos too... lots of great tips.
This set features ceramic sharpeners built into the storage block to automatically sharpen the knives at the correct angle with every use, which means that my knives are always at their sharpest. It also means that I don't have to take the time to sharpen each and every knife before using it. It happens automatically when you replace the knives in their block. I can just get going on my recipes... which is what I'll do right now with you too!
So, this Stoplight Vegetable Dish... it is yummy! There is something magical that happens in the oven when you roast a bunch of veggies together. This particular dish gets extra points because it makes a pretty statement... and you might be able to convince your youngsters to eat it with the "Transportation" theme of the stoplight colors... red tomatoes, yellow squash, and green zucchini. Also, if you have a garden, this is a great way to use up some of the late summer harvest!
Here's what you'll need: tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, spices and shredded cheese (unless you're doing a Whole30 or something).
It's a really easy dish to put together. You start by dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, and sautéing them. While they are getting all nice and fragrant in the frying pan, thinly slice the other veggies. Place the cooked onions and garlic in the bottom of the pan and arrange the vegetable slices vertically in an alternating color pattern. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and cook for about 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle on some cheese and return to oven for about 15 minutes.
Stoplight Vegetable Dish
3-4 medium tomatoes
2 summer squash
1/2-1 yellow onion (diced)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
salt & pepper, other seasonings (Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute is one of my favorites)
1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 2 quart baking dish with oil; set aside. Sauté diced onion and minced garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in frying pan until onion is translucent. Meanwhile, thinly slice zucchini, squash and tomatoes. Spread the onion/garlic mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange the vegetables in an alternating pattern, standing up vertically. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and any other seasonings. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with shredded cheese and return to oven for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
I have long been a fan of Calphalon for their bakeware and cookware, but now I'm a fan of their cutlery sets as well. With comfortably balanced handles and full tang blades, these knives are quality made. I feel like I've finally graduated to a big-girl set of kitchen knives. AND... I get to share that feeling with one of you too! Sign up below in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a Calphalon Self-Sharpening Cutlery Set for yourself or someone you love (a $219 value)... (Did you know that Christmas is less than 8 weeks away? Not that you would have to give it away if you won it... just sayin'.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway