From Dish Gwen:
I’ve never been much of an eggplant fan. The texture is mushy, the flavor isn’t really there, and my sister claims it makes her mouth itch. But last summer I happened to eat dinner at an excellent Italian place (Emilio’s on Houston) and had one of the best pasta dishes ever, and it just happened to have lots of eggplant in it. And it’s pretty simple to make!
- 1 lb eggplant, cubed or sliced into small rounds (no more than 1.5” across)
- ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- olive oil
- thin spaghetti, cooked al dente
Slice up your eggplant and toss it in a bowl with lots of salt (enough salt to coat each piece of eggplant completely). The salt serves two functions: 1. It makes the eggplant salty and delicious; and 2. It draws the water out of the fruit, which improves its texture. Let the salty eggplant sit for about 15 minutes, then dab it off in a towel to remove the excess water and salt.
On medium/high, heat a sauce pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and then toss in the garlic and eggplant. The eggplant should sizzle and once it’s golden brown on all sides, toss in the spaghetti and mint. Turn off the heat and toss everything together gently, then serve! A delicious, easy summer dish!
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From Dish Amelia:
One of the food jobs I’m lucky to have is working for Nourish, the company headed up by nutritionist Marissa Lippert, who approaches food with an eye for beauty, seasonality, straightforwardness and integrity. I cook in the homes of her clients, and sometimes other catering gigs.
I originally made these brownies for a client who couldn’t have dairy. I’ve made them many times since, and messed around with them a lot — trying them with only agave, honey and brown sugar to sweeten, and with whole wheat flour and ground flax seeds. (Health food city!!). However, the following recipe is for brownies that are still totally reasonably healthy (right Marissa?), fantastic in texture and interesting in flavor. Try them, they are a hit!
Yield: 20 or so 2-inch brownies, or a quarter sheet tray.
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup cocoa
2 oz chopped chocolate
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 cup chopped walnuts ( or NOT)
1/3 cup fresh dried lavender, buzzed momentarily in a spice ginder
Heat oven to 350. Stir lavender into oil first while you place out all other ingredients. Prepare the pan: spray pan, apply one sheet of parchment, spray well again. (I use handy olive oil spray).
Whisk cocoa with 1/2 cup+2 T of boiling water, add chocolate, whisk more. Add in the oil, then eggs, then sugar, then flour. If you are using nuts, pour half of the mixture into the tray, scatter the nuts evenly across, then add rest of mixture over the top. If you are not using nuts, just pour entire contents into pan, and nuts or not, sprinkle the top with maldon salt or fleur de sel, enough so that you know that each square you bite will have a fabulous flake present.
These brownies have a tricky bake time. Too little and they taste underdone in a bad way. Too much and they just candy themselves, amazing right out of the oven but becoming hard rock weapons when cool. The top should form a beautiful crust and the interior will maintain a gooey ideal.
Bake the brownies for 45 minutes but test them a couple times. Take out the pan and let them cool in it. When it’s cool, use a bench scraper or knife to loosen the edge from the sides. Turn the pan over and push in the middle to make giant brownie fall out. Remove paper and slice neatly into trapezoids. I mean squares.
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From Dish Erin:
Full disclosure: I completely forgot to do my SLD this past month. So what you’re getting here is a sneak, last minute peek into what my kitchen looks like between the months of July-Sept, when I pretty much tailor all my meals around my beloved Jersey tomato. It’s peak season for tomatoes right now–they’re so juicy and fresh that just a few dices in some olive oil are delicious enough to become a ‘sauce’ for pasta, no hours of simmering or cans needed. Summer pastas and pretty much my go-to and this is a perfect example of what I will whip up on a weeknight.
Note: The night before I had roasted a chicken, and had quite a bit leftover. You can used leftover cooked chicken, or just saute a chicken breast in a pan until cooked through. I promise I’ll get it together next month, dear readers.
2 cups whole wheat penne
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced roughly
A few shakes of red pepper flakes
1 whole Jersey tomato, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon oregano
About one cooked chicken breast, diced into cubes
4-5 kale leaves, chopped roughly
salt & pepper
A few basil leaves, chopped julienne
Saute onions in a medium sauce pan with olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, red pepper, and tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, start to cook the penne according to package directions.
Make a well in the tomatoes and add the tomato paste, oregano, and stir to incorporate into sauce. Add white wine, and stir again. Add chicken & kale, season with salt & pepper and cover to simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Remove lid, mix in basil, taste and add more salt & pepper if need be.
Serve in bowls over penne and a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.
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