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Baba Ghanoush Dip Recipe

July 14, 2015
Baba Ghanoush needs fresh roasted eggplant

After our small hiatus last week and with our kitchen renovation fast approaching, we’ve been under the gun to use up food from the fridge and pantry before the construction kicks us out.  So we’ve been saving and canning and freezing extra vegetables from our garden.  But with only a few eggplants on hand we decided to go all in and make baba ghanoush.  This flavorful dip is similar in texture to hummus and has many of the same ingredients.  The only real difference is that the dip is built on roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas.

We planted both Ichiban and Black Beauty varieties this season

We planted both Ichiban and Black Beauty varieties this season

Baba Ghanoush Recipe

  • 1 cup of roasted eggplant (1 large and several small eggplants)
  • 1/3 cup tahini (Check the international aisle of your grocery store, and if all else fails Amazon)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Olive Oil, 3T for roasting and 2-3T for blending into the dip
  • Roasted garlic, 1t
  • Juice from 1 lemon (buy and extra lemon in case you like your dip more sour)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the eggplants and cut in half.  If you are using eggplants of different sizes be sure to slice the eggplants so they are pretty equal in thickness.  This will help them roast evenly.  You may need to cut heirloom varieties in half and larger eggplants into several lengthwise slices.

3.  Lay them flat on a cookie sheet and brush on olive oil to each side.  Sprinkle both sides with salt to season.

4.  Roast the eggplant for 40 minutes. They should be dark and bubbly on top and very soft on the inside.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes

5.  Using a spoon scoop the eggplant away from the skin into a blender.  You can also put it through a fine mesh strainer if you want a smoother dip.

6.  Add the other ingredients and blend thoroughly. Serve with toasted pita points or these gluten-free yums immediately or keep in the fridge tightly sealed for up to a week.  Spread it on wraps in place of mayo. Delicious!


Canning Salsa + News!

June 23, 2015
eggplant salsa ingredients

This post is going to be sort of a best hits today, because we have been working on several small projects at the same time.

1. Canning Salsa

For Father’s Day, my dad and I canned some salsa using ingredients fresh from the garden.  I was inspired to make an eggplant salsa after having some during our trip to Athens last month.  I checked the ingredients on the can and tried to make something similar.  See the recipe below:

Eggplant Salsa
  • 2 small Ichiban eggplants, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small green tomato, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 5-6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1-2 of your hottest peppers, finely minced with seeds
  • 1 clove roasted garlic
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

Once all of the ingredients are prepped, combine them in a sauce pan.  Cover and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and blend any large pieces of eggplant with an immersion blender.

Prepare your ball jars by heating them thoroughly.  We used the dishwasher for this step.  Bring your canning pot to just under boiling and fill your jars with salsa, leaving an inch of space at the rim.  Screw on the lid and submerge in the hot water.  Cover the canning pot.  Wait until your water comes to a boil, then set the timer for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool for another 5 minutes.

At this point you should be able to remove the lid and pick up the jars with your canning tongs.  Set the jars away from cold or moving air for 12 hours to cool.  The jars should be sealed at this point, but give them a test by checking for an indent in the jar lid.

Canned salsa with veggies from the garden

Cool the jars for 12 hours on a heat-proof surface. Give the jars plenty of space to avoid shocking the glass.

2. Crown Molding

We’ve been making steady progress on the crown molding in our foyer after last week’s tutorial.  I only have a little more caulking to do tonight followed by a final coat of trim paint.  I’ll touch up the walls with our favorite gray paint to finish the project off.  After that we can move on to (finally!) removing the carpet.  Check out our progress below:

Little gaps in the crwon molding can be filled with caulk and spackle paste.  After sanding and painting, you'll never know they were there.

Little gaps in the crwon molding can be filled with caulk and spackle paste. After sanding and painting, you’ll never know they were there.

3. Kitchen News

Hooray! We finally signed on the line with our new contractors for the renovation in the kitchen.  They are scheduled to start late next month or early August.  You guys, we are PUMPED. Richard and his team are awesome and we know they will get the job done.  They will be adding some structural support underneath the house to carry the load of the new beam.  Then they will remove the sun porch wall and span the space with two beams.  The back door is being relocated and new windows will be installed.  All the finishing after that point will be up to Neil and I. Check out the mood board we put together for the kitchen below:

kitchen mood board

We will keep the cabinets but add new slab doors with sleek pulls from Rejuvenation.


Roasted Summer Squash Hash

May 27, 2015
Roasted summer squash hash with pork belly

Our garden is finally in full swing and veggies from our first harvest made for the most delicious summer squash hash.

The original recipe is from Gena Knox’s Southern My Way cookbook which I’ve borrowed (indefinitely) from my mom. We’ve added many of her recipes to our favorites list including these baked beans.  Her cookbook takes traditional southern recipes and strips them down to just the essential ingredients.  You can go even lighter by substituting sunflower oil or soy butter for regular butter.

Home garden harvest of cabbage squash and wildflowers

Today we got three summer squash, a small cabbage, and some wildflowers from our garden

There were three squash and a small cabbage ready to pick, but the recipe below only calls for the one squash.  I’ve modified Gena’s original recipe to incorporate ingredients we already had on hand.  My new recipe is below and you can find the original on her site.

Home garden harvest roast summer squash hash potato pepper onion

Dice the vegetables to the same size so that they roast evenly

A slice of pork belly from Bennett’s Creek Farm Market brought out the sweet notes of the squash and had a crispy skin.  The hash would also be delicious with a sunny side up egg for breakfast or over a bowl of grains for a quick cold lunch.

Roasted pork belly on a bed of summer squash hash

Crispy pork brings out the sweetness of the squash

Summer Squash Hash

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 T whole grain deli mustard
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups of summer squash cubed (about 2 medium squash)
  • 1 cup diced potato (you could sub in a sweet potato here and zucchini for the pepper below if you typically avoid nightshades)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely diced shallot
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 3 basil leaves

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Whisk together the first 5 ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.  I didn’t add salt to the dressing because I knew the pork would be salty but season to your taste.

3. Dice the vegetables and add them to the bowl with the dressing.  Toss to coat.

4. Spread evenly in a cast iron skillet and add the herbs to the top.  If you like your hash crispier you may want to spread the vegetables in one layer.  I like a mix of crispy and soft so my skillet was just large enough to fit everything in two layers.

5. Roast uncovered for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and use a spatula to scrape up all the crispy bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Serves 2.