September 2, 2011
What a harvest it was this week! Tomatoes – heirlooms, cherry, plum and beefsteaks. Corn, zucchini, beets, carrots, mizuna, eggplant, cukes, peppers and a jalapeno. Beautiful “bouquet” of colors and flavors!
Where to start…..well the tomatoes looked fabulous and were perfect for a tomato tart with a cornmeal crust. Onions, cheeses,scallions line the middle of a cornmeal crust, topped with sliced heirlooms and baked. How pretty, delicious and a perfect lunch treat – think super fancy pizza!
The eggplant was sauteed with chickpeas, peanut butter and red onion and garam masala for a wonderful vegetarian dish with tons of flavor. Oh, yes, I am starting a pescatarian (fish eating vegetarian) diet to feel healthier, perhaps lose a few pounds and experiment for my clients, building a vast resource of tried vegan/vegetarian recipes. This stew was a keeper!
Corn is always best as is – we chose to grill it naked, producing a wonderfully nutty, condensed texture and flavor from the corn – almost popcorny, but still juicy. Our new favorite way to have corn on the cob!
A mizuna salad with dried cranberries, toasted pecans and a pomegranate vinaigrette was delightful, sweet, bitter, and a unique addition to dinner.
Sunday, Irene struck knocking power out by 10:30AM. Luckily, some of the tomatoes ended up roasted and pureed with champagne vinegar, bread crumbs and garlic for a roasted gazpacho – my new favorite recipe for this cold summer soup. Topped with cukes and pepper, perfect for power outages!
So now the grill is our main cooking tool. Fish delivery on Tuesday offered 2 pounds of dabs. Couldn’t freeze it (still no power) so a pan was placed on the grill, oil heated and a cornmeal crusted dab swam in the hot oil. Grilled zucchini, carrots (wonderful roasted on the grill) corn on the cob and gazpacho finished this meal.
Zucchini was shredded by hand and sauteed with garlic, the jalapeno and scallions. Topped with pepper jack cheese, a delightful take on hash, for which this brunch recipe had eggs poached on top of this mixture, but no eggs in the house this week. Besides, this was dinner…
Leftovers sufficed until Thursday when the power returned, and the cherry tomatoes were roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper for use in a tossed pasta. (not creative, I know, but so much to catch up on this week). Beets were roasted with a little herbs de provence and olive oil, dressed with a sour cream orange dressing and topped with toasted walnuts. Dinner party worthy, with fresh flavors from the dressing, earthy dark flavors from the roasted beets, and a slight floral note from the lavender in the herbs. Simple, elegant and so healthy! A vegetarian chili will finish up the remaining pepper, the black beans and tofu I bought for another dish, and lot’s of spices.
Can’t wait to see what we get tonight!Happy Labor Day to all….and good eating!