Posts Tagged ‘veggies’

GYO: Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgThis was almost a contest to see how many items from the garden I could use in a recipe 🙂 Turns out, a lot!

This is a great recipe if you like eggplant, which, event though I keep trying it, I just don’t really enjoy. The only way I really like to have it is in moussaka, drowning in spiced ground beef and tomato sauce, so I guess I’ll have to make some of that soon, since I have another eggplant given to me by my next-door neighbor.

This is my entry in Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products, started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, and hosted this time by MomGateway. The onion, garlic, tomatoes, basil and parsley came from our garden, while the eggplant was a gift from our neighbor, in return for some of our abundant cucumbers that I gave to her.

eggplant-pasta

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 large eggplant
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 pound short pasta, such as penne or rotini (I used radiatore)
Sherry vinegar
2 cups diced tomato
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Put chicken breasts and Italian dressing in a plastic bag for an hour to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplant in 1/2 inch cubes. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl . Place them on a roasting pan in a single layer and roast for 25 minutes or until they are soft.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat, then cook chicken five minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the box. Drain.

Heat a large skillet to medium. Pour in the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and saute until they are starting to color. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and then deglaze the pan with a splash of sherry vinegar.

Add the eggplant to the skillet along with the diced tomato, red pepper flakes, and basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer then add the pasta. Toss until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and sprinkle with the parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Slice chicken in 1/4-inch slices and place on top of the pasta. Serve.

Like a box of chocolates …

… when you plant a garden, you never know what you’re gonna get. It seems like something different does extremely well each year. Last year, we were inundated with peppers – bell, Kung Pao, jalapeno. This year, the cucumbers have gone insane. I think there are three plants vining along the back fence – I just picked 10 cucumbers the other night. I wonder what the farmer’s market would pay for organic cucumbers?

A few someones at work got lucky yesterday.

I still have four cucumbers – might need to make this Spicy Cucumber Salad recipe again.

Topsy Turvy Tomatoes

We decided to try this upside-down method of growing tomatoes this year, to see what would happen. They’re doing better than some of our other tomato plants – a few have died – but not as good as some others. I’ve only gotten one off it so far, and it was good, but they’re small for beefsteak tomatoes.

They look kinda cool hanging off the shed there, though 🙂

topsy-turvy-tomatoes

GYO: Maque Choux

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgI saw Rachael Ray make this on her “30-Minute Meals” show once, and it looked really good. So I made it, and it is really good 🙂 It’s full of healthy ingredients and is a delicious way to use extra corn if you grill too much. The original recipe doesn’t call for zucchini, but I had about a third of one left in the fridge so I diced it and tossed it in.

The red onion and parsley are from our garden this year, and the jalapeno is one I froze last summer. We had an abundance of jalapeno and Szechuan peppers last year. I put the extra jalapenos on a cookie sheet, froze them, and put them in a freezer bag, so I could thaw and use them through the year. And I dried the Szechuan peppers; as soon as I run out of store-bought red pepper flakes, I’m going to chop these in the food processor to make my own.

Maque Choux

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 ears grilled corn on the cob, kernels cut off
A sprinkle sugar
Dash cayenne pepper
Salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 ripe avocado
1 lime, juiced

Heat a skillet over moderate heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (1 turn of the pan), chopped onion, jalapeno and red bell pepper. Saute 2 or 3 minutes. Combine corn with peppers and onions. Season with a sprinkle of sugar, a dash of cayenne pepper and salt. When mixture bubbles, reduce heat to simmer. Cut butter into pieces and stir into corn mixture. Allow mixture to simmer and cook until creamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Spoon maque choux into a serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

This is great with grilled chicken.

maque-choux-500w

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and preparing our own food. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by Playing House.

The hazards of growing cukes on a fence

Sometimes they grow through the fence. Had to cut this one in half to harvest it.

cuke-in-fence

GYO: Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgAs you can see, we have lots of really big cucumbers coming in right now, so I’ve been looking for new recipes to use them in. I came across this “Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad” recipe that sounded really good and decided to try it. Delish!

It could use a bit more seasoning, but we liked it. Dan was worried it would be too vinegary, because I *love* vinegar-soaked cucumbers, but this had only a few tablespoons of rice vinegar, which is less acidic than the white vinegar I usually use, and other ingredients as well. It turned out very good, but I think I will double the chili-garlic sauce next time.

Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp rice vinegar, to taste
2 tsp sesame oil, to taste
2 tsp sugar, to taste
2 tsp soy sauce, to taste
1/2 tbsp chili paste, to taste (optional)
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Wash and then peel the cucumber skins in alternating stripes (or peel completely or not at all). Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds and pulp out with a spoon. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch pieces. Sprinkle the cucumber slices with the salt and toss to coat evenly. Cover and place in refrigerator for an hour.

After an hour, squeeze the cucumber slices of as much liquid as possible with your hand. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber with the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Add a little soy sauce and mix the salad. Taste and add more soy sauce until you reach the desired saltiness. Stir in the chili paste and serve cold; it will taste even better if you let it marinate overnight in the fridge. Just before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds

.

spicy-cucumber-salad

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and preparing our own food. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs). The roundup of all the tasty recipes is here.

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