Tag Archives: Recipes

From the Garden-Caprese Salad

One of my favorite produce from the garden are the tomatoes.  So sweet and juicy right off the vine, we eat them like candy.  The weather has been so hot here that I’ve had no desire to turn on the oven, so for dinner  the kids picked a bowl of tomatoes and we turned them into this delicious caprese salad.  Try it with this smoky eggplant dip.

Makes about 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and add them to a medium bowl followed by the oil, salt, pepper and vinegar.  Toss gently and taste, adjust the seasoning if needed.  To the tomatoes add the mozzarella and top with the basil.  Toss again gently before serving. Enjoy the taste of summer in this simple salad!

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Smoky Eggplant Dip

eggplant dip

Growing up, this was one of my favorite dishes, and still is.  My mom would usually make it in the summer to early fall months, when eggplants were in season.  Simple to make, yet so full of flavor.  Make it as an appetizer with crusty french bread for dipping or spreading, pita chips, or use as topping for chicken or steak.  It can be adjusted  to become a vegan dish if you omit the mayo.  I use sunflower oil, but if you don’t have any on hand you can substitute your favorite oil instead, I recommend something mild in flavor , you want the eggplant to shine.

        Smoky Eggplant Dip  (makes approx. 2 cups)

  • 3 medium to large eggplants (pick the ones that are darker with shiny skin)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 Tbsp Sunflower oil
  • 1 Tsp Mayonnaise
  • Salt to taste

Turn on your grill until hot.  Pierce the eggplants 2-3 times with a fork in the thickest part.  This will prevent them from exploding on the grill.  When grill is very hot, place eggplants on it and close lid.  Grill 15-20 mins on each side until charred and softened.  This will give the dip the smoky flavor.  Remove eggplants from grill and place in a colander to cool and drain.

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While eggplant is cooling, place the finely chopped onions in a small bowl and add a few generous pinches of salt to it and rub with your fingers.  This will release most of the juice from the onions and will prevent the dip from having strong onion flavor/spice.  Leave onions in salt mixture until you finish cleaning the eggplant.

When eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the skins with your fingers, rinsing your hands under water if necessary to clean char off.  Place flesh in a bowl while removing skins from eggplant, we will then add them back to colander when peeled to finish the draining process which should take about 5 mins. Place eggplant into a medium bowl, squeeze the diced onions until most of the juice is out and they feel dry.  Add them to the eggplant along with the sunflower oil,  salt to taste ( start with 1 tsp and adjust from there depending on taste.)  With handheld mixer turned to high, mix all the ingredients together until homogenized for approx. 2 mins.  Taste and adjust salt as needed.  Mix the mayonnaise into the dip, and chill it for at least one hour.  The longer the dip sits in fridge, the more the flavor develops. Serve with bread, pita chips or fresh veggies.  This also makes a great spread for sandwiches.

Serve with the marinated roasted peppers.

 

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Enjoy and please let me know how you liked it!

 

 

 

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