Archive for August, 2013

Eggplant, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Lentils Meatballs featured at August’s Book Club Dinner

The Menu

Blistered Shishito Peppers
Heirloom Tomatoes, Peaches and Blueberries Salad
Charred Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Cucumber
Lentil Meatballs with Lemon Pesto
Blueberry Crumbcake

August’s Book Selection

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett


This year’s CSA has seen more than its share of eggplants. Hardly any summer squash but two sometimes three eggplants each week for the past four weeks. So having two beautiful white eggplants in the produce drawer, I knew I had to include them in this months menu.

August also means tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, and basil to me so these personal favorites had to be on the menu too!

Researching recipes, I turned to two recent acquisitions, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and The Sprouted Kitchen Read more

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

State of Wonder


An engaging novel set in the exotic Amazon rainforest where the miraculous can happen. State of Wonder: A Novel follows Dr. Marina Singh, a big pharma researcher for Vogel, a pharmaceutical company, into the Amazon jungle to find the remains of a colleague who mysteriously died and learn about the progress being made by Dr. Anneck Swenson. First, Dr. Singh has the difficult task of finding Dr. Swenson, also employed by Vogel. Dr. Swenson, a secretive, renown gynecologist and former mentor of Dr. Singh, has spent years studying the reproductive habits of tribal women who can reproduce for life in order to develop a fertility drug that, for Vogel, has the potential for enormous profits.

Charred Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Cucumber

Having gotten so many eggplants from the CSA this year I wanted to be more adventurous with what I made with the eggplants as the season progressed. So I turned to Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty where I found an intriguing recipe. A bit pretentious of me perhaps, I adapted it to meet my dietary needs and improvise hard to find ingredients.  I was especially anxious to try burning the eggplants over flames on my stovetop. Read more

Heirloom Tomatoes, Donut Peaches and Blueberries Salad

Everywhere at the Farmer’s Market were the most amazing heirloom tomatoes. It was hard to choose so I picked a combination of colors, low acid sweet tasting orange and yellow tomatoes which I mixed with a stronger tasting green ones, and of course, red to round out the colors and flavors.  To the tomatoes I added donut peaches. They are nuggets of sugar which off-set the acid in the tomatoes. Read more

Blistered Shishito Peppers

So Simple and yet so Good!

In my favorite well seasoned cast iron skillet, (you must use a heavy skillet) I poured a generous amount of grapeseed oil and turned the heat on medium-high to high. Grapeseed oil is best to use for frying or in this case blistering the Shishito peppers. It holds up so much better to the heat than olive oil. It takes about 6 to 8 minutes for the peppers to blister. I stirred them occasionally. When done to the desired blistering and color I generously sprinkled with Kosher salt.

I plated them, and then watched them disappear.

These peppers make a great snack or appetizer with drinks. Read more