One of the reasons I’ve considered discontinuing the blog is I get so much satisfaction from my time on social media, especially Instagram. I’d rather be hanging out there, including posting actual recipes on those outlets so you can get all the details where you are, too. On the other hand, it’s nice to have this journal of recipes to refer back to and bookmark from, and I have the freedom to post several photos.
I had an AHA! moment this morning when I realized the obvious: I can do both. So, going forward, I’ll be posting blog recipes directly to Facebook and Instagram, as well as recording them here. I suspect this is one of several changes I’ll make to how I use this space in the coming months to make it work for me (and hopefully, you too).
I borrowed the idea for this cilantro salad dressing from my friend Viney, who whipped it up during our apple picking trip a few weeks ago. Making do with random odds and ends in our rental kitchen, she combined fresh cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and sour cream to make this tangy, creamy, herbaceous number. I can think of a few different salad combinations where this application would be particularly great, but we’ve been sticking with one version in particular. A big bowl of greens, apple slices, and salted peanuts tossed with the cilantro dressing makes
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 lime, juice and zest
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all the ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Add the olive oil and process until just incorporated.
Toss with baby greens, sliced apples, and salted roasted peanuts. Serve immediately.
Anyone who’s asked me about meal planning, how to put CSA produce to use, or otherwise discussed any topic in that realm knows I’m surprisingly enthusiastic about scrambled egg tacos. We eat them for dinner at least once a week, a welcome vessel for almost any vegetable. I adorned a recent rendition of our weeknight go-to with this corn and peach salsa. It’s simple and sweet, and, particularly because I opted to keep the corn raw, it’s fun to chew. Serve it with tortilla chips or gussy up your next taco night. Heck, call it a corn salad and eat it on its own.
Corn and Peach Salsa
2 ears of corn, stripped
2 peaches, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
1/4 tsp salt
In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
Whoa, this week. Between the heat and both kids being sick, I feel…heavy. Like I’m trying to do everything underwater, but, you know, really hot water. I catch myself daydreaming about our recent trip to VA and NC, where temperatures were probably pretty high, too, but we had the beach or pool to keep us cool and only fun things to tackle.
I’m also missing the awesome produce from my mother-in-law’s garden, particularly the eggplant. When we visit this time of year, we eat obscene amounts of eggplant – no meal is safe (I’m looking at you, breakfast). Grilled, roasted, sauteed, parmigiana’d…
We were sent home with a small bag of these precious beauties, both your standard dark purple and a magenta and white variety called Rosa Bianca. Rather than recreate one of our vacation experiences, I thought up a dip quite different from anything we’ve eaten recently. It’s inspired by this eggplant spaghetti with miso brown butter sauce, which haven’t had in over a year but still remember how deeply satisfying it was. This spread boasts those same nutty, salty, umami flavors but is versatile enough to use in any meal of the day, or even as a party appetizer.
We dug in the first night to this roasted eggplant dip with homemade brown butter pita chips, and then layered it with tomatoes and cucumbers for a pita pocket lunch the following day. For the third rendition, we re-made the pita pockets, added sauteed ground beef.
That last application was my favorite, but given the current weather conditions I’d probably just dip in cucumber rounds if I made it today.
Note: I put za’atar in both the dip and on the pita chips, but they’re both great without the extra nutty, herbaceousness. I’m just a little obsessed with this spice mixture.
Miso Brown Butter Eggplant Dip
2 medium eggplant
1 red onion, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp white miso
1/2 tbsp za’atar (optional)
Place an oven rack on the second-highest position and turn on the broiler. Place the eggplant and red onion (cut-side up) on a baking sheet and top the onion with a splash of olive oil. Place the garlic on a small piece of aluminum foil, cover with a olive oil, seal shut, and add to the baking sheet. Broil the vegetables until the eggplant skins are burnt and everything is tender, about 20 minutes, flipping the eggplant after 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, being whisking and continue cooking until it becomes light brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Peel the skins off the eggplant and remove the stem. Put the roasted eggplant, onion, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the brown butter (use a spatula to get all the browned solids), miso, and za’atar and process until smooth.
Brown Butter Pita Chips
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 rounds of pitta bread, cut into 8 pieces each
1 tsp flaky salt
1 tsp za’atar (optional)
Preheat oven to to 375 degrees F. Heat the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, being whisking and continue cooking until it becomes light brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, toss the pita triangles with the brown butter to evenly coat. Spread on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt and za’atar. Bake until crispy and just starting to brown, 7-9 minutes.