Recipes: Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant

Using ripe heirlooms, slice as you like, sprinkle with S&P, olive oil, balsamic & top with chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Dice a big, fleshy tomato of any variety. Slice corn kernels off the cob and add to the tomatoes. Finely dice a young red onion and a clove of garlic. Add a handful of chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, juice, salt, ground Szechuan pepper and a pinch of dried red chili flakes. Sweet, hot and feisty!

Toss tomatoes into salted boiling water for 1 minute. Pull out, skin, seed & chop

Sautee lots of onions, garlic, a few peppers, S & P, and some fennel seed. Add tomatoes when onions are soft. Cook over medium heat for about a half hour. Sauce should first get thinner then reduce to get tastier and thicker.

Roast some peppers or use jarred ones in winter- there are rather good ones available and are a heck of a lot less messy than making your own…just saying…

To roast: char whole peppers in the broiler, over a grill or over/under any live flame, turning regularly- Let it burn & blacken

Put in a paper bag, sitting in a bowl to absorb yummy juices and wait patiently til they cool a bit

Peel skins with your hands- it should be easy- leaving some charred bits

Open tops and gently scoop out seeds. The roasted peppers will want to split

Toss measured couscous with olive oil, lemon zest, dried fruits and nuts, S & P, and any spices you want (cumin, cinnamon, coriander.. as you like)

Use your fingers to coat each grain with the oil- this will prevent clumping

Pour equal amount of boiled water, all at once, on couscous and cover for 5 minutes

Uncover and toss with a fork, adjusting flavors if necessary

Scoop some into each whole pepper

Snuggle stuffed peppers in a roasting pan

Serve cold with olive oil and lemon juice drizzled on top or put in a 400° oven for 30 minutes with some feta or goat cheese crumbled on top

Food processors make this easier, but a good fork and a strong hand always work…

Roast eggplants on a grill or in a hot oven/broiler until tender and charred. The more charred, the more smoky and flavorful. Skin when cool enough to touch. Puree the meat, a bit of tahini, a clove of garlic, lemon juice, S&P. Blend. You can add yogurt for smoother texture

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