Fairly Tale and Plum Tomatoes Gratin

When I saw organic fairly tale eggplants at my local food coop, I had to take some home. Their life is short, they are so cute, and the price was 1/3 of a farmer’s market. I wondered if I grill them or sautée them. I ended up sautéeing them with plum tomatoes in olive oil. Being accompanied by gluten free seedy toasts and home made ice tea, it’s a lovely summer lunch. No much recipe to share since it’s so simple. But here you go.

fairy tale and tomato gratin

fairy tale and tomato gratin

Ingredients:
1 lb eggplants
1 lb tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano (if you are using fresh, use 2 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp basil (if you are using fresh, use 2 Tbsp)

  1. Halve fairly tale. If you are using larger eggplant, cut them to the similar size. Quarter tomatoes or slice them in thick (1/2″) slices. Crash garlic cloves.
  2. Heat a frying pan in medium-high. Splash olive oil in a pan. Sautée eggplants for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and oregano and basil. Cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes or until everything becomes tender.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Eggplant Miso Stir Fry

Eggplant Miso-Itame

Eggplant Miso-Itame

I was talking to my Mom on a phone. She mentioned what she made for herself the night before. Eggplant miso stir-fry, boiled spinach with sesame dressing, miso soup with tofu and wakame seaweed, rice. Pretty good. I don’t make that many dishes for 1 dinner any more unless It’s a special occasion. I love eggplants, but I don’t buy them often enough. Their season is now, late summer to beginning of fall. I saw Chinese eggplants at the local farmer’s market on last Sunday. I decided to make this classic dish.

Ingredients:
5 Japanese eggplants or 3 Chinese eggplants (about 1 lb)
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 onion
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

For the Sauce:
2 Tbsp miso (I like dark soy miso, but any miso would work)
1 Tbsp sake or mirin
1 Tbsp sugar
1″ ginger (grated)
1 tsp hot sesame oil
5 Tbsp water

  1. Cut eggplants in a bite size. Cut bell peppers in strips. Slice onion in 1/2″ strips.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or a large skillet.
  3. Toss eggplants in. When they become little bit soft (~5 minutes), add bell peppers and onion.
  4. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add it in the wok. Stir with a spatula for a few times to coat the vegetables with the sauce.
  5. Put a lid on. Turn the heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Serve with a bowl of rice.

5 Small Vegetarian Dishes

5 Vege Dishes

5 Vege Dishes

All of above small dishes are easy to make, but making 5 dishes for 1 dinner seems a lot of work. Yup, it’s the Japanese cooking. I was talking to my Mom the other day, and she told me what she made for dinner on that day. Grilled fish, roasted Japanese eggplant, simmered beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions, boiled spinach, miso soup, and white rice! So, I tried to do the same minus beef and fish. Above dishes are all good warm or room temperature. All dishes above (except rice) are great nibbles if you like to drink.

Sautéed Shishito Peppers

Heat a splash of olive oil on a pan, put shishito peppers in. Turn an few times until they blister, but not to burn. Season with salt.

Pan Grilled Tomatoes

Halve tomatoes. Heat a splash of olive oil on a pan, line tomatoes in. Sprinkle salt. When they are soft, turn them over and grill a few more minutes. This was always a part of my English Breakfast when I traveled there.

Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)

1/4 large kabocha, soy sauce, sugar, sake, water

Peel the green skins. I use a peeler and it is easier than a knife. Chop it at bite size.
In a medium sauce pan, put kabocha and pour water just enough to cover them. Heat up until boil. Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp sake. Turn the heat down to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until kabocha is done. Stick a folk or a chopstick in a kobocha piece and if it was easy to come out, it’s done.

Fire Roasted Eggplant

2 Japanese eggplants per person, 1/2″ fresh ginger (grated), soy sauce

Place eggplants directly over the fire. Yes, keep the pan holder comes with the stove top, but no pan is needed. When one side is charred, turn it to expose the other side to the fire. It will take 5 minutes or longer one side. When all sides are charred and eggplant is collapsed, take them off the fire, place them in a bowl. Cover with a plate to let them steam. Peel and cut it in bite size. To serve, place grated ginger and a dab of soy sauce on top.

 

Kale Salad and Szechuan Caponata

Kale Salad and Szechuan Caponata

Kale Salad and Szechuan Caponata

I made awesome dinner and nobody else is home! I ate it all by myself. Where is everybody?

Kale Salad

ingredients: 1 bunch kale, 1 lemon, 1 ripe avocado, 1 small carrot, 1 tomato or a box of grape tomatoes, wasabi chickpeas (optional), salt and pepper

1. Wash kale. Rip leaves out of the stems. Put them in a big bowl. Add lemon juice and generous pinch of salt. Massage kale with fingers for a few minutes.

2. Peel and pit avocado. Break it with fingers, and mix it into kale.

3. Shred carrot. Cut tomato into small cubes or half grape tomatoes.

4. Add carrot and tomato in the kale bowl.

5.Sprinkle wasabi chickpeas over the salad. Serve.

Szechuan Caponata

Ingredients: 1.5 lb eggplant, 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp garlic (minced), 1 Tbsp ginger (minced), 1 Tbsp sake or dry sherry, 1tsp corn starch or arrow root powder, 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, 1 small green hot pepper (minced), 1 bunch scallion (chopped small)

1. Cube eggplant at 1″.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Cook eggplant until they become brown and soft.

3. Mix corn starch or arrow root power into the broth. Set it aside.

4. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl. Pour it in the eggplant pan. Cook for 1 minute. Keep stirring.

5. Pour broth+starch into the pan. Cook at low heat for 1 minute until the liquid is almost all absorbed.

6. Serve with pita or rice.

February 28th Menu

Green Goddess

Green Goddess

Breakfast: Coffee, Green Goddess Shake

Lunch at ‘sNice: Vegan Cuban Sandwich!

Dinner at Heart of India: Malai Kofta, Baigan Bartha, Rice, Naan—my two favorite vegetarian dishes. They did them well. Heart of India is my favorite Indian restaurant in my hood. I’m happy to find you. 🙂

Vegan Cuban Sandwich

Vegan Cuban Sandwich

Malai Kofta and Baingan Bharta

Malai Kofta and Baingan Bharta with Rice and Naan

January 19th Menu

Carrot Mango Soy Shake

Carrot Mango Soy Shake

Breakfast: Coffee, Carrot-Mango-Soy Milk Shake—I’m looking for a new great shake. This needs more kick. I added some lemon juice to make it better, but this is still not a hit.

Late Lunch at Spice Cove: Kashmiri Eggplant, Cove Bhaji Poori, Chicken Pakora—do not be afraid. I didn’t eat the little chicken tikka piece inside of the pakora. They were deep fried chickpea balls. I liked all of them. At a new Indian restaurant, I often order an eggplant dish or a malai kofta if they have it. Cove Bhaji Poori was a mixed vegetable curry in a puffy pastry. A nice little find in the neighborhood. 🙂

Supper: Green Drink (Kale, Cucumber, Green Apple, Apple Juice), Baked Sweet Potato—lunch was so late and rich, I just wanted this much for supper.

Chicken Pakora

Chicken Pakora

Kashmiri Eggplant and Cove Bhaji Poori

Kashmiri Eggplant and Cove Bhaji Poori

Green and Sweet

Green and Sweet

 

Saturday’s Menu 11/24

Green Goddess

Breakfast: Coffee, Green Goddess Shake

Lunch at Mile End Sandwich: Fried Eggplant Wrap, French Fries, Ginger Soda—We just found this charming sandwich shop while walking on Bond Street. yum!

Dinner: Raw Tomato Pesto Pasta with Sauteed Kale and Grape Tomatoes—yum!

Fried Eggplant Wrap

Raw Tomato Pesto Pasta with Kale and Grape Tomatoes