Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onions!

Serves six to eight.
1 lb. eggplant (1 medium globe), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 3-1/2 cups)
Kosher salt
9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces onion (1 medium), thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 lb. red bell peppers (2 medium), peeled (as much as possible with a vegetable peeler; serrated works best), cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb. zucchini (3 or 4 small), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons (about 3 cups)
¼ cup chopped garlic (6 to 8 large cloves)
1 lb. tomatoes (2 medium), peeled (with a serrated vegetable peeler; otherwise, skip the peeling), cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Few drops hot sauce
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (a chiffonade)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint (a chiffonade) (optional)

1. Toss the eggplant with 1 tsp. kosher salt in a colander and let sit in the sink or over a bowl while you prepare the other vegetables.
2. Sauté the vegetables one at a time.
3. Tip: If the juices in the pan look black and burned at any time, rinse the pan with water and wipe it out. If not, leave the cooked-on juices in the pan; they'll add flavor to the final dish.
4. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, the thyme, and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and deep golden brown, 15 to 20 min. Scrape into a clean colander or large strainer that's set over a bowl to catch the juices.
5. In the same skillet, heat another 3 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften and get browned around the edges, about 5 min. Add the rosemary, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're extremely soft and sweet, another 10 to 15 min. Gently fold into the onions in the colander.
6. Heat another 1 Tbs. oil over high heat, and as soon as you see the first hint of smoke, add the zucchini and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Shake and stir to distribute the zucchini slices evenly in the pan so they all get browned. Cook over high heat until tender and nicely browned on both sides, 5 to 7 min. Add to the colander and gently fold with the onions and peppers.
7. Finish with the eggplant and tomatoes.
8. Dump the eggplant onto some paper towels, and pat to blot up surface water. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in the skillet over high heat, add the eggplant (no additional salt), and shake and stir to distribute the cubes evenly in the pan so they all get browned. Cook over high heat until lightly browned on several surfaces, about 5 min, and then lower the heat to medium. Cook until the eggplant is very tender--not at all al dente--another 13 to 15 min. Fold into the other vegetables.
9. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and let sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and all their juices and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook until the tomatoes collapse slightly and the juices thicken and darken a bit, 3 to 5 min. As you're cooking, scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze all the cooked-on vegetable juices. Add to the colander, scraping out all the juice from the skillet, and fold everything together.
10. Let the vegetables rest, then reduce the juices
11. Now let the vegetables sit in the colander for 15 to 20 min. At that point, you should have around 1/2 cup liquid in the bowl. Pour it into a small saucepan, heat until gently boiling, and boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. The flavor should be very bright and intense. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and a few drops of the hot sauce to taste. Fold this glaze into the vegetables, along with the basil, parsley, and mint (if using). Taste for salt and add more if needed.
12. Serve now or later.
13. Serve soon, if you want it to be warm, or let the ratatouille cool and serve at room temperature.

Recipe from Fine Cooking web site.
Wonderful recipe! Because everything is actually cooked separately, the flavors are much stronger than if they are cooked together. I did have to use dried herbs, but the flavor was still good.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes

Potato Gratin with Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 lbs. all-purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick or less
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 ½ cups water
½ cup dry vermouth
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaf
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced thin
5 plum tomatoes, sliced thin
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. 1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Rub bottom and sides of 5- to 6-cup gratin dish or shallow baking dish with garlic. Mince remaining garlic and set aside. Once garlic in dish has dried, about 2 minutes, spread dish with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
2. 2. Heat remaining oil in medium saucepan and sauté onion and reserved garlic until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, water, vermouth, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, basil, and cayenne (if desired).
3. 3. Pour half of potato mixture into prepared dish; top with bell pepper. Add remaining potato mixture and cover with tomatoes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Shake dish or use fork to distribute potatoes evenly. Gently press down potatoes until submerged in liquid.
4. 4. Bake, basting once or twice, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and continue baking until top is golden brown, about 40 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

Excellent recipe that I made for the first time last summer. I used green peppers instead of red and did not have vermouth--substituted more water for the vermouth. I also covered the gratin dish for the first 45 minutes.--Enjoy--

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Potatos, cucumbers, radishes, green peppers & onions

Crispy Potato Salad with Blue Cheese

1 ½ lbs. small new potatoes
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon dried marjoram
⅛ teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
⅓ cup salad oil
½ cup radishes, sliced
½ cup cucumber, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 eggs, hard-boiled, sliced
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
tomato wedges, for garnish

1. Cook potatoes (unpeeled) in boiling salted water to cover until tender (25 to 30 minutes). Drain and slice while warm. Place in a large bowl.

2. While potatoes cook, in a small bowl mix vinegar, mustard, salt, marjoram, pepper, and garlic. Using a whisk or fork, gradually beat in oil until well combined. Pour oil mixture over warm potatoes, stirring gently to coat potato slices. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or as long as overnight, if you wish).

3. Lightly mix in radishes, cucumber, onion, pepper, carrot, celery, parsley and hard-cooked eggs. Mix mayonnaise and sour cream until smooth; stir in cheese. Fold mayonnaise mixture into potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours. Garnish with tomato wedges.

What a great recipe. I normally use my mother's potato salad recipe, but decided to try this one, since it uses veggies from the CSA. I will definitely be using it again!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Lamb and Eggplant Moussaka

3 lbs. eggplant (2 large or 3 medium)
2 large russet potatoes
Salt as needed
⅓ cup olive oil, or as needed
2 cups diced onion
1 ¼ lbs. ground lamb (or substitute beef, turkey, pork, or combination)
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cloves
Small piece cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 bay leaf
Pinch ground allspice
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
½ cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup dry red wine
¼ cup plain bread crumbs
2 cups Cheese Sauce

1. 1. Peel, salt, and rinse the eggplant if desired (see note "Preparing Eggplant for Cooking" below).
2. 2. Place potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover them. Over medium-high heat bring them to a boil and boil lightly for 5 minutes. Cool, cut into 1/8-inch slices, and set aside.
3. 3. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the eggplant to the hot oil a few slices at a time and sautéthe eggplant slices, turning as necessary, until tender and lightly colored, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a rack to drain while you sauté the remaining eggplant, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary.
4. 4. To prepare a meat sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the ground meat and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the meat loses its raw appearance, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, allspice, salt, pepper, and about 1/2 cup water. Simmer until thick and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Add the tomato paste and red wine and continue simmering until the wine has developed a sweet aroma, about 10 minutes.
5. 5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6. 6. To assemble the moussaka: Scatter the bread crumbs in a deep, rectangular baking dish. Place a layer of half of the eggplant slices over the bread crumbs. Add the meat sauce and spread it into an even layer. Place an even layer of sliced potatoes over the sauce. Add the remaining eggplant in an even layer over the meat sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the eggplant. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese sauce is thick and golden brown and the eggplant is very tender, about 45 minutes. Let the moussaka rest for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Cheese Sauce

5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups milk
Few grains of nutmeg
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
2 egg yolks
½ cup grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese

1. 1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk, working out any lumps that form. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
2. 2. Remove the sauce from the heat and add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Whisk the egg yolks in a small boil and add a bit of the hot sauce to the yolks. Blend well, and return the yolk mixture to the rest of the béchamel. Stir in the cheese and blend well. Keep warm while preparing the moussaka.

Excellent recipe that came from Epicurious.com. I forgot how long it takes to prepare moussaka, however! I was also pleased that not only was I able to use the eggpland--and finish it for the week--but onions, plum tomatoes, & potatoes from the CSA.


Pan Fried Eggplant with Saffron Mayonnaise

1 pinch saffron
1 tablespoon hot water
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 small eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup olive oil, or as needed
8 sprigs parsley, for garnish

1. Stir saffron into hot water, and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir together saffron water, mayonnaise, and minced garlic until smooth; set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and kosher salt in a shallow bowl. Dip the eggplant slices into beaten egg, then dust with flour. Gently shake off excess flour, and place eggplant slices onto a baking sheet.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil before frying each batch of eggplant. Once all of the eggplant has been fried, roll up into cylinders and secure with toothpicks. Garnish with parsley and serve with saffron mayonnaise.

This recipe came from Allrecipes.com. The best thing about it the sauce for the eggplant!

Cucumbers & Corn

Corn and Cucumber Salad

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups cooked corn kernels
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
½ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill for several hours.

This recipe came from Allrecipes.com and is even better the next day after the veggies have had time to marinate.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Herb-roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Feta

For a great vegetarian entrée, serve the vegetables on a bed of couscous.
1 1 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large plum tomatoes, cored, quartered lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place eggplant and tomatoes on rimmed baking sheet; toss with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons oregano, salt, and pepper. Roast until eggplant is tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer eggplant and tomatoes to platter. Sprinkle with feta and 2 teaspoons oregano and serve.

Excellent recipe found at Epicurious.com.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Uncooked Pasta Sauce

Fusilli with Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

4 large tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons basil, julienned
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons goat cheese
parmesan cheese to serve at table
1 lb. pasta, fusilli or farfalle works well
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

1. Start water to boil for the pasta as you begin making the sauce. Cook the pasta according to package instructions (you should be able to get sauce ready by time pasta is done). Dice 2 of the tomatoes and put in a large serving bowl. Add the basil and scallions to this bowl, and combine.
2. Cut the other 2 tomatoes into chunks that will fit into food processor. Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to the food processor, then puree the tomatoes in the processor. Pour these pureed tomatoes into the serving bowl with the diced tomatoes and basil, stir to combine. When the pasta is ready, combine it with the sauce, and add the goat cheese. Serve with extra parmesan cheese if desired, and enjoy!

This recipe is from David Crowley from his blog:  http://cookingchat.blogspot.com/. This is a wonderful recipe and will be used again this summer.