Let me start off by extending a heart felt thank you to everyone who left comments and sent emails in support of my cookbook project. I have been working tirelessly on the darned thing and the support from you guys just makes doing it so much more worthwhile. ♥ In fact, some of the responses I received were down right tearjerkers… but I digress.
I woke up this morning determined to create something wonderful with this little acorn squash that had been rolling around on my counter-top for the past few days.
After mixing up all of the ingredients, I had no idea that I had just created my new favorite Autumn treat. I’m serious! This dessert tastes remarkably like a chocolate pumpkin pie, or a pot de créme, or simply what it is: an awesome baked custard (no eggs or cream needed). And it’s so easy to make!
Creamy, rich, and chocolatey, I dare you to eat just one bite.
I seems like ages ago when my husband and I tilled up a large area of grass in our backyard and transplanted our tiny seedlings into a barren patch of dirt. We tended to each little plant with love and waited all summer long to reap the fruits of our labor. Now, our garden is brimming with peppers, okra, cabbage, kale, cucumbers, herbs, and tomatoes.
Green tomatoes, that is. They are taking their sweet time in ripening; and, although I love nothing more than a ripe garden fresh tomato- a bit of impatience culinary nerve came over me.
In all the years I have grown tomatoes, I had never once considered eating the fruit before it ripened. So early yesterday morning, I decided I should create something delicious with my still green and crunchy tomatoes.
I knew I wanted to try a more unorthodox approach than simply frying them up, so I created these delicious turnovers.
Let me just state that I am extremely impressed with these things. In fact, my husband and I were both so enamored with the taste and texture, that we are already planning on making them again. Soon.
Like, maybe tonight.
The thinly sliced tomatoes and onions melded with the nutritional yeast and cumin inside the crispy pocket to create a treat that smells absolutely wonderful while baking in the oven.
And, they tasted so damned good.
Try them… if you’ve never eaten green tomatoes, this is a great intro recipe. Other fillings can be added or subbed in for the ingredients listed, but I really love the flavor of this exact recipe. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Now I wonder if my tomatoes will last long enough to ripen to red? At this point, I couldn’t care less.
My love for Baingan Bharta has turned into a bit of an obsession lately; especially since I mentioned it in my recent post for blueberry salsa. This recipe is an adaption of the link I posted from Manjula’s Kitchen. But, it’s a tad different with the addition of yellow zucchini squash.
The entire dish comes together quite easily, although the mashing of the ingredients while cooking takes a little elbow grease. It works wonders to curb a desperate craving for Baingan Bharta, say… really late at night when everything is closed and the nearest Indian restaurant is 45 miles away.
This cold noodle salad combines a lot of great flavors and textures to make the perfect summertime meal. It also includes my newly discovered friend, the purslane.
These beautiful and nutritious succulent plants are often weeded from folks’ gardens. Last week, as I was weeding my own garden, I came across this little plant that resembled a jade plant. I decided to let it go, as it simply was too beautiful to pull up from the ground. That exact same day, I was researching edible wild plants (one of my fave things to do), and wouldn’t you know it… the plant I left alone turned out to be something that should be in my garden!
Purslanes were apparently one of Ghandi’s favorite foods, and they are quickly becoming one of mine.
I had never heard of them prior to my recent discovery, but the purslane is actually a nutritional powerhouse! Now that I recognize the greatness of this little plant, I have been encouraging it to spread far and wide in my garden. It seems to prefer the company of my kales to any other veggie. Seriously, so would I …
I have never seen a purslane at the grocery store, unlike it’s edible weed friend, the dandelion. Like I said, I had no clue what it was before I almost weeded the poor thing. But, then again, I’m hardly a foodie. Feel free to substitute fresh green peas, spinach or arugula for the purslane. Those veggies aren’t quite as awesome as the humble purslane, but they’ll do.
The ingredients for this salad came together based on what I had on hand, including the first two crops ready for harvest in our garden: mint and green onions. Yay for homegrown food!
We had also picked up some “real” tomatoes from the farmers market earlier this week, so I threw them in there too. All the flavors mingled together very nicely.
Tossed with pureed avocado (my favorite base for a salad dressing), this little concoction was surprisingly good!
It’s like a minty, beany, pasta salad!
Happy Earth Day!
To celebrate, I’m going to continue my “backyard foraging” kick, with a recipe for the under-appreciated dandelion. Eaten plain, dandelions are sustainable, “easy” to grow, and very very good for you. You can eat the root, the greens, or in this case- the flower. They are certainly more nutritious when eaten raw… but when they are eaten battered and fried, they are simply delicious.
I am not sure how to describe the taste, other than possibly comparing these particular fritters to vegetable pakora, with a cornmeal twist.
If you haven’t yet delighted in eating what your neighbors probably loathe- now is the time. While you’re at it, go ahead and don a dandelion crown. People will know you mean business.
These things are so fun to harvest, batter and fry, you’ll be foraging in your (or someone else’s) front yard every time you get a hankering for a fried treat. See ya later tater tots.
I made a culinary discovery in my very own backyard!
Let me preface this by saying that we had just moved into a new place in December, and we weren’t sure what to expect from our new patch of land. Since spring first sprung, we have been delightfully watching new baby plants pop up everywhere. And, about two or three weeks ago, we noticed that we had tiny fern babies sprouting up all over the place. While I immediately admired them for their curly adorableness, I never once thought to eat them. What kind of food blogger am I? Shameful…
But yesterday, for some reason, I had an epiphany: those little curly baby ferns sure did look a lot like the one’s on Vegan Yum Yum’s site last year about this time- and they also look very similar to the one’s we saw at Whole Foods last weekend. Hmmm….
A quick Google search (not recommended unless you are totally familiar with wild edibles and/or have a reliable guide) told me that my backyard was full of exactly those gourmet treats: a delicacy referred to as Fiddlehead Ferns. Cool!
It also told me that we were just catching the very end of Fiddlehead season. Damn.
Fiddleheads are the teeny fronds of young ferns before they have unfurled. There are a few varieties, but in our case, we have Ostrich Ferns. They are best enjoyed when just two inches tall. I recommend reading Ms. Yum Yum’s very well written explanation if you are curious about them. Our fern sprouts were a tad bigger than desired, although there were still a few stragglers scattered about. Score!
Despite our late harvest this year, I am excited to know that come this time next year… we will have Fiddleheads a plenty.
Depending on where you live, you may still be able to catch some Fiddleheads in your neck of the woods (literally) or at your local Whole Foods or similar store. If not, top this creamy pasta with your favorite sauteed veggie and get prepared for next year’s forage!
And, if you do decide to go out and hunt for your own Fiddleheads, use common sense and some caution… there are definitely some not so yummy look-a-likes out there. Just warning you…
Since the weather outside is so frightful, (and freezing!) soup is on my mind. This lentil soup is nice and light, yet very satisfying. It is also chock full of warm fuzzy feeling. I created it to emulate a soup I always order at one of my favorite restaurants. Fragranced with lemon and cilantro, and pleasantly mild, even my lentil hating husband loves this stuff.
Here’s to soup, and keeping warm!