Thursday, August 5, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Our garden is coming along nicely this year. You might remember that we decided to grow only heirloom tomatoes in the 2010 garden.

This one is called "Garden Peach." The flavor is pretty mild, but it does look somewhat like a peach, fuzz and all.

These little guys are known as "Grandpa's Minnesota." They are a larger cherry tomato. We usually grow grape tomatoes, these are not as sweet, but still good.

And this my friends is Eggplant Caviar. David Lebovitz's recipes NEVER fail me, and this one is no exception The children were horrified when I explained to them what caviar was. Which really surprised me because Ian is all about eating grotesque foods and Katie is in love with fish. I quickly dismissed their fears, because there actually is no caviar in this delicious dip. Really this recipe should be called eggplant heaven, because that is what it is. The creamy, roasted eggplant, spun with golden olive oil, sprinkled with fresh herbs, spiked with garlic, and a dash of heat. That is what it is, heaven. Although it will give you devil's breath. Serve this with some toasted pita bread, and your guests will be in what else... heaven.

Eggplant Caviar
3 small or 2 medium eggplants ( I used 2 Japanese eggplants)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice,
1-3 cloves garlic (depending on how much you like)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Poke each eggplant a few times with a sharp knife and place them over a gas flame on the stovetop, or a grill, turning them with tongs, until they're charred on the outside and feel soft and wilted. Depending on how smoky you want them, roast them for five to ten minutes.
When cool enough to handle, cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, and place them cut side down on the grill or bake in a 400 degree oven. ( I skipped this step because my eggplants were cooked enough.)
Bake the eggplants until the flesh is thoroughly cooked, which should take about twenty minutes, but may vary. Remove the eggplants from oven and once cool enough to handle, scrape the pulp from the skins into the bowl of a food processor. (You can also scrape them into a bowl, and mash them by hand with a fork.)
Add the tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper.
7. Pulse the food processor a few times, until the mixture is almost smooth. Add the herbs and pulse a few more times.
Taste, and add additional salt, lemon, or other seasonings, as desired.
To serve, spoon into a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour a bit of olive oil in the middle and serve with toasted pita bread.
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