This Week's Share: eggplant, red peppers, parsley, lettuce, shallots, fennel, tomatoes, cucumbers
This Week's Recipes: Romesco with Eggplant, Fennel and Lentils; Spiced Eggplant Soup
Simple Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Shallot Vinaigrette.
Romesco with Eggplant, Fennel and Lentils
First things first: heat up your oven to 400 and get your veggies roasting. Eggplant takes less time than the fennel so I did them in separate pans. I added a sliced shallot to the fennel. Toss veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until nice and soft. Meanwhile cook the lentils in plenty of boiling water. I use the French green lentil because they tend to hold their shape better then brown, yellow or red. When tender, strain and set aside.
Now for the fun part:
This recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison. Go out and grab a copy of her book Vegetable Literacy for beautiful delicious recipes and to get a better understanding of the vegetable families.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 slice country bread - fried in 1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 TBSP chopped parsley
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1 small paste tomato, charred
3 red peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 small chili pepper (optional)
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 sherry vinegar
You can roast peppers a few different ways, the easiest of a sort would be to throw them over a fire or a grill. You can also use your broiler or I put them right over the flame of my gas stove. Turning once each side is charred. Put all your ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or heavy duty blender and blend until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and viola! Welcome to the Romesco Fan Club!
To assemble: Toss your eggplant, fennel and shallots, lentils in a bowl. I threw in some torn parsley and mint and dressed with some olive oil, lemon and feta. This would be delicious as is by itself but with a schmear of Romesco on the plate or dollop on top (or both) this is super delicious.
Spiced Eggplant and Red Pepper Soup
1 small onion,
1 TBSP each cumin, coriander and fennel seed toasted and ground
2 medium eggplant or 3 small
2 red peppers
1 1/2 quarts stock - veggie or chicken
salt, pepper, lemon juice and or cream
First soften your onion in some olive oil with the ground spices. When soft add diced eggplant and peppers, Cook until soft then add the stock and cook for about 15 minutes more. Puree with an immersion or regular blender. Season to taste. You can certainly add a bit of cream if you like or leave as is. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a drop of creme fraiche.
Simple Shallot Vinaigrette
1 TBSP finely chopped shallots
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
2/3 cup olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in a pint size mason jar and shake vigorously.