Happy week 14 everyone! So much good stuff this week!
This is Alice Water’s recipe and it’s a good one. This comes together pretty quick and is awesome with polenta or pasta or even just a big chunk of crusty bread. This is one of those recipes that is even better the next day, the flavors really develop nicely. All the veggie quantities roughly equal 1lb each and the recipe could be adjusted up of down very easily. And it freezes beautifully, so make a bunch and eat summer’s tasty treats all winter long!
1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
pinch of dried chile flakes
2 mild peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Salt to taste
Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently,
until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set
In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic,
basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.
Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir
Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of
basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.
Don’t be intimidated by risotto, it really only takes 25-30 minutes. I made this the other day as I had a growing stash of beets happening in my crisper drawer that needed to be thinned out. I was a little skeptical, though it might be too ‘beety’. I mean, I like beets just fine, but I don’t always want to eat a bowl of beet flavored rice. Honestly, I think even a true beet hater would love this. The shredded beets cook down and disappear into the risotto. Top with a fried egg or a couple seared scallops.
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3 medium beets (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 teaspoons white wine or Champagne vinegar, divided, plus more
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley, divided
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
Bring broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer.
Meanwhile coarsely shred the beets using the large holes of a box grater.
Heat a large wide pot or sauté pan over medium-high. Cook butter and oil, stirring occasionally, until butter melts. Add onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beets, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes more.
Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes, then add 1 1/2 cups broth, 3 tsp. vinegar, and 1 tsp. salt. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid has evaporated. Continue adding broth, 3/4 cup at a time as rice absorbs liquid, stirring and simmering until rice is tender, about 30 minutes; season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper halfway through. Just as rice is about done add cream, 2 Tbsp. parsley, remaining 1 tsp. vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Divide among 4 plates or bowls, then top with goat cheese, if using, and remaining 2 Tbsp. parsley.
Adapted from epicurious.com
Mexican Pickled Carrots
I started making these a few years ago and it’s one of the recipes I am asked for most often. I sometimes stray from the written recipe, adding more hot peppers usually. They are great in sandwiches or just to snack on, but absolutely delicious in tacos. A nice little spicy pickle really ups your taco game, trust me.
2 lbs large carrots
2 large jalapeños
1/2 medium white onion
5 cloves garlic diced
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
4 bay leaves
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp kosher salt
Slice carrots and jalapenos on the bias into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Halve and peel the onion and slice into ¼ slices. Set aside.
In a large stock pot add the garlic, vinegar, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, oregano, salt. Bring to a boil and add the carrots, onion and jalapeños. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered.
Allow to cool completely and store vegetables and cooking liquid in clean, glass containers with lid (like a quart jar). Keep refrigerated.
Fine to eat after 3 hours, best if pickled for at least a day or two. They will keep for months in the fridge.