Last week I cooked…

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersChermoula eggplant with bulgar and yogurt (pictured below). This was the recipe that finally pushed me to buy preserved lemon. There were a lot of other flavors on the eggplant so I can’t say the lemon really stood out to me, but I’m excited to dry them in more dishes. This was classic Ottolenghi, lovely spiced eggplant with an interesting salad on top improved further by cool yogurt.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersMixed bean salad. I made this along with the eggplant. It was a good pairing, but I was left wanting a little more zing. I think next time I would not rinse the capers or add in some lemon juice as well.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersEggplant parm (from I’m Just Here for the Food, another version of the recipe is here). This has happened 2 years in a row, so now I guess it is a tradition of sorts. I make eggplant parm on the same night that Will does his fantasy football draft and both events are celebrated with red wine. Eggplant parm is close to  the top of my long list of favorite foods. I don’t make it often, so I usually decide to double the recipe and freeze some. Half way through the process I always curse this decision because it is so much work.  By the time the fried rounds are stacked with cheese and sauce and going into the oven I’ve been cooking for close to three hours and about ready to give up hope of eating. Then the final product goes in the oven, the 20 minutes the cheese takes to melt is spent cleaning up the film of flour, breadcrumbs, and egg goo that covers the counter and floors, and the splattered frying oil coating the stove top. Then a little more wine is added to the glasses. Immense relief takes hold as we sit, and serve out perfectly stacked portions of silky eggplant coated in crunchy breadcrumbs, with tangy tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella. The only thing served alongside is some caprese salad because the idea of an all stacked meal is so fun, and it is the most effort that can be managed for a side dish. A few bites in, and wait a minute, why don’t I make eggplant parm all the time??? Always worth it, and I’m looking forward to the stash in the freezer.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersSpiced chickpea salad. Yes, more Ottolenghi. The vegetable salad here is great. Fresh, colorful, and summery. The chickpeas left me wanting more. The spice mix is a little off, and next time I will go for a spicy version with cumin and cayenne or chili powder instead.

20150909_182754Skillet greens & beans with anchovy breadcrumbs. Yes, this again. I had a more carb heavy meal planned but Will asked for more vegetables for dinner and who was I to deny him? I used way more kale than called for and could have probably added even more. AND I didn’t burn the breadcrumbs this time. The lemon anchovy garlic dressing just sings with greens.

Zucchini carbonara. Something that is not eggplant and not a salad!! Just a teaser though, because I’ll be posting more about this later in the week.

Chorizo and tomato salad. Cooking this recipe made me incredibly mad with myself. I can’t believed I pinned it so long ago and waited to make it. I love tomatoes, and a love chorizo. This was so easy to put together it almost was wasn’t a dinner. Alongside we had some crusty bread with just the lightest toasting to heat it through, and some goat cheese instead of the feta (which was excellent spread on the bread before dipping in the tomato-chorizo-vinegar juice). The effort to taste return ratio on this recipe was off the charts.

Tomato scallion shortcakes with whipped goat cheese. The real star of this dish is the biscuits (The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook cover recipe) . They are quick to throw together, and an excellent base for all sorts of things. I’ve made the whole dish with the tomato salad and whipped goat cheese, but then the next day I had leftovers with scrambled eggs and was even more pleased. This time I made goat cheese scrambled eggs and roasted tomatoes to serve for brunch.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersPurple plum torte. I bought the most gorgeous plums from an orchard this week that had exquisite magenta flesh. They were a little bigger and tarter than the prune plums called for here, but made a beautiful cake. If your plums have any bit of tartness I would leave out the lemon juice. And as usual Deb was right that the cake was better the next day.


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