Sunday, July 20, 2008

Purple nurples


I know; that's a crazy name for a post. I guess I'm back with the "Chowder" theme (this lovable character's first recipe was called, "Purple Nurples"), as I've been spending my time uncooking with local ingredients.

For instance, yesterday I mentioned a dish I made for lunch out of a lilac pepper, Japanese eggplant and a cucumber. I didn't have a plan when I bought these; I was just drawn to the colors, which worked well together (when was the last time you saw a purple pepper in the grocery store?).

Not to let anything go to waste, I quickly came up with a recipe including all three ingredients. Here's what ended up on my plate:

Lilac Salad
1 Japanese eggplant, cubed
1/2 cucumber, cubed
1 lilac pepper, cut off top and bottom for garnish, then cube
2 Tbsp. raw tahini
1-2 Tbsp. umeboshi plum vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
generous squeeze of lemon
sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste

Add the eggplant, cucumber and pepper to a bowl, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, vinegar, oil, agave, salt, fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust ingredients to suit your palate (I'm not sure of the exact measurements, since I just made it up as I went).

Pour the dressing over the eggplant, cucumber and pepper mixture, and toss to coat. Garnish with the pepper top and bottom, as well as some cucumber spears.

*It's best to let this dish sit and absorb the flavors a little before serving.

*****

Later in the day, I dressed up some more cucumber slices with the local blackberries I had been eyeing. This is probably the simplest and purest local recipe yet (Do you think I can pass them off to my son as purple nurples?).

Blackberry "Caviar"
on Cucumber Rounds

cucumbers, sliced into rounds
blackberries, with center removed
sea salt (optional)

Arrange the cucumber slices on a plate, and top with separated blackberries. Add a touch of sea salt, although not necessary (especially if you have good quality ingredients).

*****

Wow, that really was simple. It's even easier than the peachmato salad from last weekend.

So, I decided to treat myself with a dessert that is also a breeze to make. Keeping with the purple theme, I whipped up another appliance-free recipe.

Chiaberry Breeze
About 1 cup blackberries, centers removed
1-2 Tbsp. chia seeds
drizzle of agave nectar
touch of vanilla
dash of sea salt
1-2 Tbsp. water, as needed

Place the separated blackberries in a small glass. Using a spoon, muddle the berries to remove some of the juice, while still leaving many of the berries intact.

Add the chia seeds, agave, vanilla and sea salt. Stir to combine. This mixture should still be a little runny, so add a little water, if needed.

Refrigerate for about an hour, so it can gel. Garnish with a few whole berries. And, as usual, enjoy!

By the way, Matthew and I will be celebrating 7 years of marriage tomorrow. Happy anniversary, honey :-)

4 comments:

Connie said...

I love your "caviar" idea. I can't wait to serve it at a party. I just posted a link on Banana Island Recipe File and Naked Food Cafe. As always your food is just lovely.

:~)Connie

Michelle J said...

Great stuff Shannonmarie!! I just wanted to let you know i mentioned you in my blog! I made your chocolate cherry icecream and loved it so thought i would tell the world all about where i found the delicious recipe!! So thanks for that!! I love that caviar idea also!! Very cool and it looks even better than real caviar which i wouldn't let get near me!!!

Michelle

Alison said...

Purple nurples and lilac peppers?! How fun! lol

Bless you people who can come up with these recipes! :) Just when I thought there was nothing interesting to eat today I read this!

And happy anniversary ;)

shannonmarie said...

Thanks Connie. You're so sweet. I'll check it out.

Thanks for the mention, Michelle. That recipe just never gets old.

I agree with you about not eating the real caviar. My aunt used to buy it, but I wouldn't go near it.

Alison, I'm glad to hear I posted something interesting for you to eat today. There are so many delightful combinations that raw food could never get boring :-)