Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Watermelon Feta Mint Salad by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

You might not think these things go together until you try them. Then you realize that nothing could be tastier.

Mint plants growing by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

The combination of flavors and textures is truly delightful -- sweet, crisp watermelon, thinly sliced onion, aromatic mint, salty feta and olives. It's one of the most refreshing things I've ever eaten.

Watermelon by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Assembly is a breeze. The recipe below is from Nigella Lawson. Enjoy!

-- print recipe --
Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients

* 1/2 small red onion, peeled, halved and cut into very fine slices
* Juice of 2 limes
* 1 1/2 pounds ripe watermelon, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
* 4 ounces firm feta cheese cut into similar-sized chunks
* 1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, rinsed and dried
* 1/2 bunch fresh mint, rinsed, dried and chopped
* 1/8 cup good olive oil
* 1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced
* Several grinds of black pepper

Directions

1. Place the onion in a small bowl with the lime juice and let them stew while you prep the other ingredients.

2. Place the chunks of feta in a large bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.

3. Pour the sliced onion and lime juice over the salad in the bowl, add the olive oil and olives and toss very gently. Add a few grinds of black pepper and taste, adjusting the seasonings as needed (you may want a little bit more lime juice.)

You might also like:


Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Feta, Tomatoes & Basil

Chopped Summer Salad

Thai Eggplant Salad with Fresh Herbs & Greens

Baba Ghanoush - Roasted Eggplant Dip

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Baba ghanoush from scratch by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

This silky, nutty eggplant dip has a lovely, complex flavor and a surprising sweetness. Baba ghanoush makes a great snack served with crudites (a fancy word for sliced, fresh veggies), pita bread or chips and is a must-have component of any self-respecting mezze platter. It's also a great way to make use of the overwhelming number of eggplants in our garden right now. So I made some.

Eggplants from our garden by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

According to Wikipedia, the translation of baba ghanoush is "pampered papa." Why not? In any case, I like saying it...

Ingredients for baba ghanoush by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

The preparation is pretty simple and although it takes a little while to roast or grill the eggplants, the rest is very quick. Start with the freshest eggplants you can find. Ours are a mix of three varieties -- any kind will work.

Putting the eggplants in to roast by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Pierce the skin with a fork a number of times all over. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise, brush them with olive oil and lay them cut-side down on a heavy baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes until the flesh is soft and the skin is all wrinkly.

Roasted eggplants out of the oven by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Let them cool down enough to handle them safely then use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of each one.

Scraping the insides out of the roasted eggplants by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

You'll have something that looks like this. Don't be discouraged - it will taste delicious!

Roasted eggplant insides by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

In the bowl of your food processor, add lemon juice, garlic, tahini paste, olive oil, cumin powder and salt. You can also add cayenne pepper for a little bit of kick (I didn't have any). Process until smooth - 30 seconds or so. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. That's it!

Baba ghanoush from scratch by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Baba goes beautifully with all sorts of things - grilled lamb, chopped salad, hummus, feta cheese, orzo salad, couscous, fish and more. A note about the tahini: if you hate it or are allergic to it, you can substitute mayonnaise and make a very similar dip which is called salat ḥatzilim b'mayonnaise though I admit that I have not tried this yet.

One other note, per my friend Pia. If you have a woodstove and want to make baba ghanoush in the winter, try roasting the eggplants right on the coals - about 5 minutes on each side. It's quick and adds a wonderfully smoky flavor! I can't wait to try this though I am not particularly eager for winter to begin...

-- print recipe --
Baba Ghanoush
Serves 4-8 as an appetizer

Ingredients

* Several eggplants (the number varies based on the size of the eggplants but you want them to add up to about 2 lbs)
* 3 Tbsps organic olive oil
* 3 Tbsps tahini paste
* 1 large clove of garlic, minced or pressed
* Juice of one lemon
* 1-2 tsps sea salt, or more to taste
* 1 tsp ground cumin

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the skin of the eggplants with a fork and cut each one in half the long way. Brush the cut side with olive oil and place, cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast for roughly 35-40 minutes, until the skin is wrinkled and the interior is very tender. Remove the tray from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. If you prefer to grill the eggplants, preheat your grill, pierce the skin with a fork, rub them with olive oil and cook over high heat for several minutes on each side, flipping once the skin is blackened. Take the charred eggplants off the grill and put them in a paper bag, fold it closed and let them steam in their skins for 15 minutes before proceeding with step 2 below.

2. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skins - it should come out easily. If you want a chunky, rustic-style dip, mash teh flesh with a fork until it reaches your desired consistency, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Or, if you prefer a smoother dip (I do), place the flesh in the bowl of your food processor along with the garlic, remaining olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and cumin powder. Process briefly, until somewhat smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed.

3. Let cool to room temp, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

You might also like:



Peach Frangipane Tart with Puff Pastry

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Peach Frangipane Tart by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

This lovely, rustic tart pairs the juicy sweetness of fresh peaches with the rich, nuttiness of frangipane -- all of it nestled in a flaky, buttery crust. Using puff pastry in place of a traditional tart crust makes it significantly simpler and quicker to make. Puff pastry for the win!

A fresh, ripe peach by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

I was inspired by the beautiful peach frangipane tart that won first prize at this Wednesday's peach pie contest at the Woodstock Farm Festival. Thanks for the idea, Dolores!

Peaches by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

We received a big box of sweet, juicy, golden orbs in the mail on Thursday, courtesy of the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers Association's Canbassador program. They're mighty tasty. Technically, I'm supposed to make jam or chutney or somesuch with them but that doesn't mean I can't use some of them for other things...

Almond meal by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Frangipane is a creamy, almond-flavored paste made by mixing ground almonds with butter, sugar and egg plus a little bit of amaretto and a pinch of salt. In other words, heaven.


Mixing the frangipane by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

While you're pre-baking the puff pastry shell, you mix up the frangipane. The puff pastry will balloon up when you bake it, so after you take it out, you give it a bit of a beat down to flatten it out but leave the edges alone so they stay puffed up to help contain everything as it bakes. Then spread the frangipane over the flattened part.

Pre-baking the puff pastry by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Brush a mixture of peach preserves thinned with amaretto liqueur over the frangipane, then top with sliced, fresh peaches and give it all a sprinkle of sugar and some sliced almonds (though I didn't have any sliced almonds.)

Peach Frangipane Tart by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Then you bake it until the peaches are golden and the frangipane has puffed up in all the nooks and crannies and gotten a little browned and bubbly. Let it cool down enough to avoid burning your tongue, then eat it!

Peach Frangipane Tart by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Please note: I made my tart rectangular rather than circular because it's much, much easier and also because there is no wasted pastry.

-- print recipe --
Peach Frangipane Tart With Puff Pastry
Makes one, large tart

Ingredients

* 1 lb puff pastry
* 4 just-ripe peaches
* 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
* 1/2 cup cane sugar, plus 1 tsp extra for sprinkling
* 2/3 cup ground almonds
* 1/4 tsp sea salt
* 2 eggs
* Zest of 1 organic lemon
* 1/2 tsp almond extract
* 1/2 cup peach or apricot jam
* 2 Tbsps amaretto liqueur
* 1/4 cup flaked almonds (optional)
* All-purpose flour, for dusting

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 385°F. Place a Silpat or other baking sheet in a large baking tray or line it with parchment paper. If your puff pastry is not already in sheet form, you'll need to roll it out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness and then transfer it to the baking sheet. I just unfolded the puff pastry right on the Silpat in my baking sheet and patted it gently into the right shape. Once it's all flat and perfect, use a sharp knife to score a line about 1 inch in from the edge all the way around.

2. Bake the puff pastry in the oven for 12-15 mins until lightly puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and gently push the center down with the back of a large spoon so that you have a flat base with a raised border.

3. Meanwhile, halve and stone the peaches, then slice them thinly and let them drain. In a bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, ground almonds, eggs, lemon zest, almond extract and 1 Tbsp Amaretto, if using. Spread the frangipane evenly over the pastry, leaving the border free.

4. Combine the peach or apricot jam and the remaining tablespoon Amaretto in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt the jam. Boil until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Brush the mixture over tart filling and top with the peach slices, neatly overlapping them in circles. Sprinkle over the remaining sugar and the optional flaked almonds.

4. Bake for 30 mins, then turn the oven down to 350°F, cover the tart lightly with foil and cook for another 30-40 minutes. The frangipane should puff up between the peaches and be golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack, then slice and serve. Leftovers will keep for 1 day.

You might also like:




Saturday, August 27, 2016

Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

Watermelon Feta Mint Salad by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

You might not think these things go together until you try them. Then you realize that nothing could be tastier.

Mint plants growing by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

The combination of flavors and textures is truly delightful -- sweet, crisp watermelon, thinly sliced onion, aromatic mint, salty feta and olives. It's one of the most refreshing things I've ever eaten.

Watermelon by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Assembly is a breeze. The recipe below is from Nigella Lawson. Enjoy!

-- print recipe --
Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients

* 1/2 small red onion, peeled, halved and cut into very fine slices
* Juice of 2 limes
* 1 1/2 pounds ripe watermelon, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
* 4 ounces firm feta cheese cut into similar-sized chunks
* 1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, rinsed and dried
* 1/2 bunch fresh mint, rinsed, dried and chopped
* 1/8 cup good olive oil
* 1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced
* Several grinds of black pepper

Directions

1. Place the onion in a small bowl with the lime juice and let them stew while you prep the other ingredients.

2. Place the chunks of feta in a large bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.

3. Pour the sliced onion and lime juice over the salad in the bowl, add the olive oil and olives and toss very gently. Add a few grinds of black pepper and taste, adjusting the seasonings as needed (you may want a little bit more lime juice.)

You might also like:


Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Feta, Tomatoes & Basil

Chopped Summer Salad

Thai Eggplant Salad with Fresh Herbs & Greens

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Baba Ghanoush - Roasted Eggplant Dip

Baba ghanoush from scratch by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

This silky, nutty eggplant dip has a lovely, complex flavor and a surprising sweetness. Baba ghanoush makes a great snack served with crudites (a fancy word for sliced, fresh veggies), pita bread or chips and is a must-have component of any self-respecting mezze platter. It's also a great way to make use of the overwhelming number of eggplants in our garden right now. So I made some.

Eggplants from our garden by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

According to Wikipedia, the translation of baba ghanoush is "pampered papa." Why not? In any case, I like saying it...

Ingredients for baba ghanoush by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

The preparation is pretty simple and although it takes a little while to roast or grill the eggplants, the rest is very quick. Start with the freshest eggplants you can find. Ours are a mix of three varieties -- any kind will work.

Putting the eggplants in to roast by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Pierce the skin with a fork a number of times all over. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise, brush them with olive oil and lay them cut-side down on a heavy baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes until the flesh is soft and the skin is all wrinkly.

Roasted eggplants out of the oven by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Let them cool down enough to handle them safely then use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of each one.

Scraping the insides out of the roasted eggplants by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

You'll have something that looks like this. Don't be discouraged - it will taste delicious!

Roasted eggplant insides by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

In the bowl of your food processor, add lemon juice, garlic, tahini paste, olive oil, cumin powder and salt. You can also add cayenne pepper for a little bit of kick (I didn't have any). Process until smooth - 30 seconds or so. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. That's it!

Baba ghanoush from scratch by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Baba goes beautifully with all sorts of things - grilled lamb, chopped salad, hummus, feta cheese, orzo salad, couscous, fish and more. A note about the tahini: if you hate it or are allergic to it, you can substitute mayonnaise and make a very similar dip which is called salat ḥatzilim b'mayonnaise though I admit that I have not tried this yet.

One other note, per my friend Pia. If you have a woodstove and want to make baba ghanoush in the winter, try roasting the eggplants right on the coals - about 5 minutes on each side. It's quick and adds a wonderfully smoky flavor! I can't wait to try this though I am not particularly eager for winter to begin...

-- print recipe --
Baba Ghanoush
Serves 4-8 as an appetizer

Ingredients

* Several eggplants (the number varies based on the size of the eggplants but you want them to add up to about 2 lbs)
* 3 Tbsps organic olive oil
* 3 Tbsps tahini paste
* 1 large clove of garlic, minced or pressed
* Juice of one lemon
* 1-2 tsps sea salt, or more to taste
* 1 tsp ground cumin

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the skin of the eggplants with a fork and cut each one in half the long way. Brush the cut side with olive oil and place, cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast for roughly 35-40 minutes, until the skin is wrinkled and the interior is very tender. Remove the tray from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. If you prefer to grill the eggplants, preheat your grill, pierce the skin with a fork, rub them with olive oil and cook over high heat for several minutes on each side, flipping once the skin is blackened. Take the charred eggplants off the grill and put them in a paper bag, fold it closed and let them steam in their skins for 15 minutes before proceeding with step 2 below.

2. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skins - it should come out easily. If you want a chunky, rustic-style dip, mash teh flesh with a fork until it reaches your desired consistency, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Or, if you prefer a smoother dip (I do), place the flesh in the bowl of your food processor along with the garlic, remaining olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and cumin powder. Process briefly, until somewhat smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed.

3. Let cool to room temp, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

You might also like:



Saturday, August 6, 2016

Peach Frangipane Tart with Puff Pastry

Peach Frangipane Tart by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

This lovely, rustic tart pairs the juicy sweetness of fresh peaches with the rich, nuttiness of frangipane -- all of it nestled in a flaky, buttery crust. Using puff pastry in place of a traditional tart crust makes it significantly simpler and quicker to make. Puff pastry for the win!

A fresh, ripe peach by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

I was inspired by the beautiful peach frangipane tart that won first prize at this Wednesday's peach pie contest at the Woodstock Farm Festival. Thanks for the idea, Dolores!

Peaches by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

We received a big box of sweet, juicy, golden orbs in the mail on Thursday, courtesy of the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers Association's Canbassador program. They're mighty tasty. Technically, I'm supposed to make jam or chutney or somesuch with them but that doesn't mean I can't use some of them for other things...

Almond meal by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Frangipane is a creamy, almond-flavored paste made by mixing ground almonds with butter, sugar and egg plus a little bit of amaretto and a pinch of salt. In other words, heaven.


Mixing the frangipane by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

While you're pre-baking the puff pastry shell, you mix up the frangipane. The puff pastry will balloon up when you bake it, so after you take it out, you give it a bit of a beat down to flatten it out but leave the edges alone so they stay puffed up to help contain everything as it bakes. Then spread the frangipane over the flattened part.

Pre-baking the puff pastry by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Brush a mixture of peach preserves thinned with amaretto liqueur over the frangipane, then top with sliced, fresh peaches and give it all a sprinkle of sugar and some sliced almonds (though I didn't have any sliced almonds.)

Peach Frangipane Tart by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Then you bake it until the peaches are golden and the frangipane has puffed up in all the nooks and crannies and gotten a little browned and bubbly. Let it cool down enough to avoid burning your tongue, then eat it!

Peach Frangipane Tart by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2016

Please note: I made my tart rectangular rather than circular because it's much, much easier and also because there is no wasted pastry.

-- print recipe --
Peach Frangipane Tart With Puff Pastry
Makes one, large tart

Ingredients

* 1 lb puff pastry
* 4 just-ripe peaches
* 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
* 1/2 cup cane sugar, plus 1 tsp extra for sprinkling
* 2/3 cup ground almonds
* 1/4 tsp sea salt
* 2 eggs
* Zest of 1 organic lemon
* 1/2 tsp almond extract
* 1/2 cup peach or apricot jam
* 2 Tbsps amaretto liqueur
* 1/4 cup flaked almonds (optional)
* All-purpose flour, for dusting

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 385°F. Place a Silpat or other baking sheet in a large baking tray or line it with parchment paper. If your puff pastry is not already in sheet form, you'll need to roll it out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness and then transfer it to the baking sheet. I just unfolded the puff pastry right on the Silpat in my baking sheet and patted it gently into the right shape. Once it's all flat and perfect, use a sharp knife to score a line about 1 inch in from the edge all the way around.

2. Bake the puff pastry in the oven for 12-15 mins until lightly puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and gently push the center down with the back of a large spoon so that you have a flat base with a raised border.

3. Meanwhile, halve and stone the peaches, then slice them thinly and let them drain. In a bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, ground almonds, eggs, lemon zest, almond extract and 1 Tbsp Amaretto, if using. Spread the frangipane evenly over the pastry, leaving the border free.

4. Combine the peach or apricot jam and the remaining tablespoon Amaretto in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt the jam. Boil until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Brush the mixture over tart filling and top with the peach slices, neatly overlapping them in circles. Sprinkle over the remaining sugar and the optional flaked almonds.

4. Bake for 30 mins, then turn the oven down to 350°F, cover the tart lightly with foil and cook for another 30-40 minutes. The frangipane should puff up between the peaches and be golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack, then slice and serve. Leftovers will keep for 1 day.

You might also like: