These Balsamic Roasted Mushroom and Zucchini French Bread Pizzas make for a comforting and quick Meatless Monday dinner.
Guys, it’s official. Roasting season is upon us, and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, I love slapping a fresh tomato on a sandwich or enjoying a fresh chopped salad in the summer months, but there’s nothing quite like the rich, sweet, caramely flavor of roasted vegetables.
Not convinced by this whole these-veggies-taste-like-candy shtick?
Here’s my top 5 reasons why roasting vegetables is totally awesome and necessary:
1. It’s totally hands off. Toss the veggies with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then just let the oven work it’s magic. You just gained 20 minutes to read your new magazine. Score!
2. It makes your house smell amazing.
3. It’s a great way to use up whatever odds and ends you have lurking in your produce drawer or pantry. Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, green beans, mushrooms—they all benefit from a 20 minute getaway to a screaming hot oven.
4. Roasted vegetables are incredibly versatile– toss them with pasta, serve them over quinoa, put them on pizzas, or add them to an omelet. They’re great with cheese, grains, eggs, beans, even soups. Serve them plain as a side, or add them to a protein or a grain and make a whole meal. Seriously, you can’t go wrong here.
5. They’ll convert even avid veggie haters. At least, that’s been the case in our house. Roasting brings out such a wonderfully sweet flavor in vegetables-it’s nearly impossible to hate them!
You may recall one of my old favorite side dishes– Balsamic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms. Balsamic + Veggies + Hot Oven is a glorious thing. The balsamic vinegar adds tang and amplifies the natural sweetness of the vegetables. I might even go so far as to say it makes vegetables taste downright luxurious. Please don’t tell cheesecake I said that. She’d never forgive me.
In this version, I tossed mushrooms, zucchini, and onions with olive oil and balsamic, roasted them for 20 minutes, then added them to cheesy, crispy broiled bread slices. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even use french bread. I only had Rosemary and Olive Oil bread on hand, so I just cut it into thick slices before broiling and melting the cheese on top. Improvisation, people. It’s a cooking must.
This made for a quick and easy weeknight meal that I’m sure will be reappearing throughout the winter. Bubbly, melted Gouda cheese, caramely sweet vegetables, and buttery carbs. It just doesn’t get more comforting than this.
So fire up the oven, dig any forgotten veggies from the drawer, and whip up a cozy meal everyone will love.
- 12 oz. assorted mushrooms, whole (I used a mix of crimini and shitake
- 1 small zucchini, cut into slices
- ½ a large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
- Bread of choice, sliced down the middle then halved OR just 4 thick slices bread of your choice (I used a Rosemary and Olive Oil)
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- LOTS of shredded cheese (I used Gouda and didn’t measure–OOPS!, but I’m, guessing it was about 8-12 oz.)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Place mushrooms, zucchini, onion slices, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a large gallon size plastic bag. Seal, then shake until the veggies are evenly coated.
- Dump the veggies out onto the baking sheet and spread evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until softened. Remove from oven then preheat the broiler to high.
- Meanwhile, brush butter onto cut surface of the bread slices. Place bread on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes or until browned and crisped. Remove from oven, sprinkle liberally with cheese then place back under the broiler until cheese is browned and bubbly. Top bread slices with roasted veggies and additional cheese, if desired.