Friday, June 25, 2010

Eggplant recipe

Well - this is very late being posted - I apologize for the huge lag in new posts, but things have been busy since my kids got out of school for the summer.

In the post prior to this one I had some eggplant from the garden and was looking for what to do with it and I found a yummy recipe for grilled eggplant with a grilled tomato relish. Here is how to make it:
  • 2-3 small Japanese eggplants (6 inches long each)
  • 3-4 tomatoes - Roma and/or Green Zebra
  • 1 Tbsp roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Slice Japanese eggplant lengthwise, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Halve Roma or Green Zebra tomatoes and brush with olive oil. Grill eggplant halves until charred and cooked through (time depends on size of eggplant - for these small ones it was about 8 minutes total). Grill tomatoes until charred and roughly chop. Combine hot chopped tomatoes, red onion, parsley, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Place grilled eggplant - cut side up on a plate, top with warm tomato relish and sprinkle feta cheese over the top.

Here are a few more pictures of produce gathered from my garden over the last weeks. You will notice there are no plums - sadly when I was on my last business trip the squirrels (raccoons? possums?) cleared them out - not a single plum was left! I don't have any good pictures of the new little girls - they are so jumpy when the flash goes off that I had to take the pictures with my hand in front of the flash. You can see that even with that Lilly (the silkie) jumped a bit - that is why her wings are out :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Eggplant recipes anyone?

The chicks are growing and doing well. They grow so fast. At two weeks they have nearly fully feathered wings and are showing tail feathers. All except Athena (the little black one - bantam Barred Plymouth Rock) - she has barely any feathers anywhere - she is still all fuzz. Sometimes I guess roosters feather out more slowly than hens, but also different breeds seem to develop at slightly different rates - so I am not sure which scenario is in play here but I sure hope Athena doesn't turn out to be a rooster! We had this same concern with Pouf, but right now I think Pouf is a hen, so hopefully Athena is just a late bloomer!

The big girls are really enjoying being out in the yard - but I think they are sad that I had to fence them out of the veggie garden. In this picture Cadbury is in the front (she is a Silver Cuckoo Marans), the Amelia is next and Pouf in the back (both Easter Eggers). Milkshake (also an Easter Egger) is not in this picture but she is usually right there with the other girls grazing in the grass and eating bugs. I have been out of town this week so they have been in their coop all week and I am sure they will be really excited to get out this weekend.

As you can see in the picture from the garden across to the coop the driveway eats up a lot of what could be "pasture" for the girls, but I think I have taken advantage of the space as well as I can at this point so they will just have to be content with the few little strips of grass. I am hoping to get some white clover to grow in some of the bald spots, but it is becoming clear that to give it a chance to get established I will need to fence it off or keep the girls in the coop long enough to get it going.

In the garden, I was able to pick some plums off the tree before I left - they were still a little too green but I was afraid they would fall off before I got home from this trip. I hope Friday morning I have a whole bunch of plums perfect for picking and not a bunch of plums lying in my yard! I also an starting to have black eyed peas (the long skinny pods in the picture below) and I think I will have one or two Japanese Eggplant to pick when I get home. Does anyone have some good, fairly healthy eggplant recipes you can share with me? I have not cooked with it much before so all I can think of right now is either grilled eggplant or maybe make Babba Ganoush out of it. I would appreciate pointers if anyone has them! I also had a few tomatoes on the verge of being ripe that I didn't want to find on the ground after getting home so I picked those before I left and gave them to a friend to let ripen on his counter. They won't be as good as they would be if they ripened on the vine but I figure they must be better than the ones picked totally green that they gas to turn red and then put in the stores!
Happy gardening everyone!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Straight from the garden

Just a few pictures today - along with the recipe for tomatillo salsa that I made.

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped tomatillo
  • 2 large carrots
  • juice of 2 limes
  • juice of 1 orange
  • salt to taste

I like to chop all the veggies in the food processor - it is quick and easy that way. If you like it spicy - add however much chopper jalapeno you like!

Tonight we had the left over salsa before dinner and then with dinner we had a few yellow squash sauteed with a little caramelized red onion - both from our garden (harvested over he weekend), and we had a cucumber tomato salad with basil and a little feta on top. I also made pasta with garlic and olive oil - the garlic also from the garden!

I got a whole rainbow of tomatoes tonight - green zebras, chocolate cherries, a few romas and a yellow pear, along with a cucumber and a few plums!