October 18th, 2019
The first night I made this, I meant to eat something else for dinner. Or at least, something in addition to this. But after that first, delicious eggplant-tomato-onion-garlicy bite, I was smitten. So smitten, in fact, that I spent the next hour sopping up every last bit of this recipe. (Yes, all by myself. Do you have a problem with that?)
Caponata is great on its own, but this takes it to a whole new level. I love eggplant, but it’s hard to use in recipes without losing any healthiness for the dish — it soaks up oil faster than you can add it to the pan, so it’s easy to overdo. My solution is to start the caponata with the eggplant cooking in water with garlic and onions, and add the oil only after the eggplant has cooked — enough so it cooks into the caponata (and will blend in even better if you let it sit for a day or two), without making this fresh, healthy dinner into something to feel guilty about.
Eggplants are in season here now, so they should be readily available. This recipe is, seriously, shockingly good — and I bet you can resist it about as well as I could. Or, well, couldn’t.
Eggplant Caponata Recipe
1 large onion, diced
2 medium eggplants, diced
4 large cloves of garlic
Water, as much as needed
4 plum tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the onions, garlic, eggplant and 1 cup of water on high heat, along with plenty of salt and pepper. Cook until the eggplant has softened, adding more water when necessary so the mixture doesn’t dry out. When the eggplant has absorbed enough water to be soft and well-cooked, add the tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, along with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 more minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, and then serve with the toasted baguette slices.
October 16th, 2019
You want to know who is annoying? Me.
Because for the past five months, since roughly mid-January, every time I went into a reasonably well-stocked grocery store, I immediately asked a salesperson, “do you have fresh figs?”
The answer was inevitably, “no, it’s January/February/March/April/May. Check back in a few months.”
But now it is June. And it was 95 degrees outside for most of last week. And I am developing sore feet from walking everywhere in flip flops, and my tomato plants have little green tomatoes growing on them, and I am getting slightly tan, and it is finally really summer.
And, most importantly, now I don’t need to ask whether each and every grocer carries figs. Because I can see them, right there on the shelf, just waiting to be bought.
So I am revisiting those Fig and Goat Cheese Canapés that I posted in February. For two reasons, really. First, because those pictures were really pretty awful (I am so grateful for the 23 of you who lied through your teeth and told me they looked tasty, despite the photos). And second, because those canapés are no longer the “Best. Food. Ever.”
Because really, could figs from a jar ever beat those elusive, delicate, impossibly delicious fresh figs?
I used gorgonzola this time, as well as a drizzle of honey. These do not get any simpler, and you can probably tell how much I adore them. If you can’t, just ask any grocer in Manhattan.
Fig Canapés, Revisited
4 fresh figs
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crubmled
1/4 cup honey
Slice baguette into 1/2″ slices and toast them lightly. Slice each fig into 4-6 slices, depending on the size of the fig. Place one fig slice on each piece of baguette, top with about 1 tbsp crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Drizzle about 1 tsp of honey over each slice. Serve.
Makes about 20 canapes.
October 14th, 2019
It’s hard to believe that the holidays are sneaking up on us in just a few weeks! This summer flew by, and fall is passing just as quickly. Usually November and December are a great time to think back on the past year, on everything that’s changed and everything you want to accomplish in the future. I’ve felt like life has been moving in fast forward lately, so one of my pre-New-Year’s resolutions is to try to take stock, in a more focused way, of everything that’s happened in 2010.
And while I’m taking stock, I plan to eat some pie.
What I’ve learned in the 3 (!) years of keeping this blog, is that it’s better to hold off on posting holiday pictures for the next year — better, in this case, to be eleven months late than just a few weeks late. So this is the pie that my family made for Thanksgiving last year, and it’s been sitting in my To-Post folder since November 2009. That is some serious patience on my part, guys.
Because ZOMG, was this good. My mom is a big apple-pie/apple-crisp-er, but what really put this over the top were my sister’s gorgeous decorated leaves. I only wish I could take credit for them — she’s been doing them every holiday for as long as I can remember, and she hasn’t shared her technique with me yet. Aren’t they lovely though? I’m sure some of you artistically-inclined bakers out there can recreate them.
4 pounds Braeburn or Gala apples, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 premade pie crusts (or use my recipe here)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut each apple into small slices and combine in a bowl with the lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Press one pie crust into a pie pan (gently), and let the edges extend over the sides of the pan slightly.
Fill the crust with the apple mixture. Top with the second pie crust and crimp the edges together with a fork — trim any excess as desired (and use them to decorate the pie!). Brush the top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits.
Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the crust is slightly browned.