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:
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
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?).
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.
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 :-)