Zucchini Gratin and 7 Other Delicious Ways to Roast Summer Veggies

Skip the grill and look to your oven to cook the season's best ingredients.
By: Foodlets

A zucchini gratin in a red and white baking dish placed on a textured white table setting

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

I don’t know about you, but I don’t get the hype about cooking outside in the summer. It’s hot outside. That officially makes it the last place I want to be, except if the other choice is in front of a flaming grill. No, sir. When the weather heats up, I say, take it inside and let the sweet AC work its magic. That brings me to another appliance I have all kinds of love for: my oven. These are my favorite ways to enjoy all those fresh summer vegetables without sweating it out in the process. And if your oven tends to heat your house up? Roast up one of these dishes in the morning, before the sun has a chance to sizzle — that way your home will be cooler come dinnertime.

Leave it to Ina Garten to elevate simple zucchini to a decadent dish. With 364 reviews and a 5-star rating (not to mention the promise of fresh breadcrumbs and all that melted Gruyère), this one’s officially on my summer food bucket list.

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13_Tomato_TomatoPieSectionOpener_370.tif

Food stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Yes, that’s Manchego cheese in the crust in this savory pie from Food Network Magazine. The base is smothered by all the juicy tomato slices you can get your hands on, and the whole thing is finished with just enough mozzarella cheese to make it sing.

It doesn’t get much simpler than this light and airy dish. Sans dough, this gratin reminds me of a pizza with only the toppings, aka the best part.

This clever take on zucchini crisps requires only a handful of ingredients (and not one of them is beaten eggs) to create a masterpiece out of summer’s most-ubiquitous veggie.

Ina Garten's Tomato And Goat Cheese Tart On Food Network's Barefoot Contessa

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ina's perfect taste of summer starts with puff pastry. All that’s left to do is layer on the goat cheese, fresh tomato slices and herbs.

Fill hollowed-out zucchini with red sauce, meatballs and mozzarella, or go another way with all the Mexican flavors your family loves: ground beef, fresh tomatoes, avocados and more. Bake it up until everything is soft enough to cut with a fork … and watch your family dig into a dinner with a built-in veggie they’ll love.

Ina Garten's Cauliflower Gratin for Night Before Dinner as seen on Food Network's Barefoot Contessa

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Fans of roasted cauliflower are in for a treat. With two types of cheese and a pot of warm milk, this Ina Garten dish transforms a head of cauliflower into the warmest, richest, gooiest dish of all.

Cubed butternut squash is the base for Food Network Magazine's creamy, crunchy side that you’ll want to make all year long.

Charity Curley Mathews is the founder of  Foodlets.com, a site about teaching kids to love good food, with simple recipes and practical advice about pulling it off. She’s also the mom of four small kids and is a contributor to InStyle, Huffington Post, eHow and more.

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