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In this method of cooking vegetables, the oil keeps them from drying out while the salt draws out their natural moisture, concentrating the flavors of the vegetables. They emerge looking limp and shiny and tasting fabulous - sweet and intense.

Although you can serve this hot, the flavors of the vegetables are even more apparent at room temperature. They are perfect served with grilled or roast chicken, meat or fish.

6 baby zucchini, about 3 inches long
6 baby eggplants, about 3 inches long
1 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned & tipped
6 new potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 c. best-quality olive oil, approximately
2 tbsp. coarse salt, approximately

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry vegetables, leaving stems intact, and arrange them in a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil, then sprinkle coarse salt over all. (While it is possible to over salt the dish, it can stand more salt than you might think; we use about 2 tablespoons.)

Set the baking dish in the center of the oven and bake until brown and slightly shriveled. Vegetables will not all cook at the same rate. Zucchini and eggplant will be done in 30 minutes or so; potatoes can take an hour. Remove individual vegetables as they become tender and arrange them on a serving plate. Cool to room temperature and serve at your leisure. 6 portions.

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Aug 23, 3:20 AM
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