Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use about half of the olive oil to rub all the vegetables and place them on a large baking sheet (the tomatoes should be cut side up and the garlic should be tucked underneath the other vegetables so it does not burn). Roast the vegetables, removing the tomatoes after about 15 minutes, the garlic after 30 minutes, the eggplants and peppers after 45 to 60 minutes (depending on their size), and the onions and potatoes after 1 hour. All the vegetables should be softened and golden. As the vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel the garlic and halve it lengthwise. Peel the eggplants and peppers and tear them into thin strips with your fingers.
Arrange all the vegetables on a large round platter, making an attractive design with the colors. All the pieces should be small enough so that the mixture can be scooped up onto a croute. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle with lemon juice. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top and scatter on the parsley. If desired, sprinkle with goat cheese and chopped olives. Place the toasted croutes around the edge of the platter.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved