Saturday, July 24, 2010

good cooking - 3 recipe successes from this week

I love the bounty of summer - so many fruits and veggies so fresh and inexpensive. Here's what I cooked this week:

Quinoa and Vegetables
(a recipe from the newspaper - I can't remember which newspaper - that I adapted)

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
pinch salt
red or yellow bell pepper
red onion
cherry tomatoes
1 cup miniature boconccini cheese balls
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbs dijon mustard
oregano (lots)
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 small cloves garlic - minced
salt and pepper

Soak the quinoa for about 15 minutes. Rinse well using a fine strainer. Put the quinoa in a pot with the water and pinch of salt. Cook like rice: bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered five more minutes then uncover, fluff and allow to cool.

Wash and chop the vegetables. I think I assembled about 3 cups of chopped veg for this. You could sub in whatever you wanted. The recipe called for fresh peas, but ours in the garden aren't ready yet, so I cooked some frozen edamame. Add the veg and the cheese to the cooled quinoa.

Mix up the dressing. Be generous with the oregano. Stir the dressing into the salad. Makes 4 lunch size servings.

Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes and Feta

This is a riff on a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman from the New York Times that my Dad pointed out to me. Dad, I will cook this for you next time you are over.

1 medium eggplant
6 medium tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
red onion
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
feta cheese

Chop the tomatoes relatively small, discarding the extra moisture and seeds so you're working with the meaty part of the tomato. Chop in the fresh basil leaves and add garlic and fine chopped red onion to your taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice the eggplant 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Brush it lightly with olive oil. Cook it on your barbeque or your George Foreman Grill if you have one. (I used the George Foreman and it was excellent.)

Add the leftover olive oil to the tomato mixture.

When the eggplant is cooked, put it into a bowl and cover it. Allow it to soften for 10 or 15 minutes (if you can stand to wait!) Arrange it on your serving plate or plates and top with the tomatoes then sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese. Makes 2-4 meal-size servings, depending on how big the eggplant is.

Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Salad

This is also Martha Rose Shulman's from the New York Times - thanks again for finding it, Dad!

1 big eggplant
2 or 3 coloured bell peppers (preferably a variety of colours)
1 chili pepper (the recipe asked for a mildly hot one like an anaheim, but I couldn't find any that day, so I used a jalapeno - sparingly)
red onion
fresh garlic
1 fresh lime
a handful of fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat up the barbeque. Poke some holes in the eggplant skin with a fork. Put the eggplant, bell peppers and hot pepper on the grill. Close the cover. Check and turn the veggies every few minutes. Remove them when they are cooked (blackened in parts, soft, fragrant). They will be ready smallest to largest. The grilled eggplant will be magnificent.

Put the grilled veggies into a bowl and cover them to let them soften further. In the meantime, chop up the red onion, mince the garlic, chop the mint leaves. Have a glass of wine.

Remove peels and seeds from both kinds of peppers. Chop medium-fine. Cut up the eggplant into small pieces. I kept the seeds and skin from the eggplant because I think they are very nice. Mix the lime juice, garlic, onions, mint, salt and pepper and oil into the veggies. Let them stand a few minutes. Finish your wine.

This makes a side dish amount for 4 people. I pretty much ate half of it all by myself very easily.

question: what did you cook this week?

mompoet - cooking, eating, appreciating

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