Roasted Nightshade Veggies with Taro – 2022 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®!

It’s the 2022 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®! For Nightmare Alley, it’s Nightshade Alley!

Our Mid-Century Dinner Party is moving to the SIDE-SHOW (ahem)!

Truth be told, I dig a little tarot reading and have been known to “know things” out of the blue (never anything especially useful like the wining lottery numbers – haha). My grandmother was gifted and predicted some wild things that came to pass. Does everyone have an ability if they are in tune with themselves? I think so. Yeah, we can go on and on about this FOR SURE but back to the movie!

Any film by Guillermo del Toro already has my attention. He assembles the most talented casts whether they are “name” actors or lesser known ones. Talent all day and all night. I love the film noir vibe of this movie which successfully harkens back to the films of the 1940’s. The worlds he creates draw me right in and I’m instantly invested. Then the story took turns I didn’t expect, which makes it even more of a thrill to watch. I did watch it via HBO Max and yet in my mind, I thought I saw it in the theater. THAT’s a testament to how engaging it is.  

KitchAnnette Spoonbread Andy LukeAnd so it was time to create a dish to honor this film. I was STUMPED. But thanks to my incredible friend, Andy Luke, I didn’t have to be concerned for a minute. His fabulous food brain instantly said “Nightmare Alley – Nightshade Alley – Nightshade Vegetables! YES!!!!!! And then I added the twist of “removing” potatoes, nightshades as well, and adding TAROt root. Ha! It’s got a creamier and nuttier flavor than potatoes and worked wonderfully. 

Andy and I go waaaaaaay back. Last century way back! He’s such a wonderful person and has been really helpful with solving the “menu puzzle”. He used to live in NYC but went back up to his home state of Maine a few years back and the city will never be the same!  

This dish is genius. Anything that can be roasted on a sheet pan makes things so easy and so delish, especially veggies. That extra little char on the edges is EVERYTHING! 

The oracle has spoken. This variety of vegetables (and fruit – tomatoes ya know) are exactly as they should be and will bring those that enjoy them smiles and satiation they have yet to ever experience. It’s true… it’s in the cards!

Happy Oscars!








Roasted Nightshade Veggies with Taro

Annette Zito, KitchAnnette™
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish


  • 3 chinese eggplants cut to 1” thick pieces 
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 taro root peeled & chopped
  • 2 long hot peppers deseeded & chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper deseeded & chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper deseeded & chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Spice Mix:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin


  • Mix salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and chili powder in a small bowl. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, add eggplant, onions, tomatoes, long hot peppers, yellow pepper, taro, and red pepper. Sprinkle on the spice blend. Pour the oil over the bowl and mix until well combined.  
  • Distribute in one even layer on a large parchment-lined baking pan. Bake at 400° for 40-45 minutes, or until golden. Turn pan about halfway through. Plate and serve immediately. 

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