When I fail to dispatch farmers market-fresh corn, potatoes, onions and tomatoes in a timely fashion, I still have a way to coax their maximum sweetness and flavor: simple oven-roasting.
We tend to avoid that kind of indoor heat when it feels like the sidewalks are set at 425. But the blessings of AC, powerful fans and pitchers of chilled iced tea will see most of us through the time it takes for this recipe’s quartet of vegetables to become tender, their juices mingling with fresh thyme, cumin and spiky ground peppers. A drizzle of honey accentuates that roasted sweetness and plays against the spices. The flavor’s on the mild side, but easily enhanced with your favorite hot sauce.
Here’s what this versatile jumble can do for you: It can be spooned atop a bed of quinoa or freekeh. It can fill tacos and enchiladas. It can cozy up next to an omelet or grilled piece of fish or chicken. And leftovers can grace a lunch bowl.
1 pound plum/Roma tomatoes
2 medium yellow onions
12 ounces very small Dutch/Yukon Gold potatoes (none larger than 2 inches; see NOTE)
3 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels (from 3 or 4 shucked ears)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or Spanish smoked paprika (may substitute sweet paprika for less heat)
4 or 5 stems fresh thyme
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey, preferably spicy, for serving (may substitute agave nectar
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and place in a large roasting pan. Cut the onions into thin wedges. Scrub the potatoes well; cut them into quarters. Add those to the pan, along with the corn. Season with the cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper or smoked paprika (to taste), then toss to coat evenly.
Pluck enough leaves from the thyme stems to yield 1 1/2 teaspoons. Scatter them over the jumble of vegetables, then drizzle the oil evenly over the mix and toss to coat.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil; roast (middle rack) for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, stirring them once or twice. Uncover and drizzle with the honey; transfer to the top rack for the last 8 minutes of oven time.
Taste, and season with more salt, as needed. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
NOTE: To make sure the potatoes will be tender, you might want to first par-cook them in the microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes, before adding them to the vegetable mix in the roasting pan.
Adapted from “Corn Lovers Cookbook,” edited by Margaret M. Barrett (Golden West Cookbooks, 1999).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Calories: 250; Total Fat: 11 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 210 mg; Carbohydrates: 37 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 14 g; Protein: 5 g.