I’ve been going crazy over all the vegetables I have around here! If this pictures looks like a big plate of fried stuff to you, then consider yourself perceptive, cause that’s just what it is. And I confess, it was all I ate for dinner last night! I thought I would share some “recipes” with you (in quotes because they’re pretty loose, I typically make up as I go along) that I’ve been using with all my local and backyard veggies this week. Above are fried green tomatoes and japanese eggplant, and they were SOOOO good! Here’s the recipe for the breading:
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast/brewers yeast (easily found at healthfood stores and good for lots of stuff!)
1 or so Tbs. breadcrumbs
1 tsp. of Fox Point seasoning from Penzy’s (this is a blend of garlic, onion, chives and salt, I think, so you could probably replicate it pretty easily, but if you get a hold of it from the Penzy’s catalog or store, I highly recommend it for anything where you want a nice light but satisfying flavor)
Salt and pepper or seasoned salt
1 egg and some milk whisked together
cooking oil of choice (I used plain old canola)
Mix all the dry stuff together pretty well in one little bowl. Slice up your veggies of choice, whatever you want to use. Make a good sized puddle of oil in a skillet and let it heat up (I like to put it on high for awhile, then turn it down to about 4 or 5 when I’m actually ready to cook, I’m open to any other methods you like!) Dip the veggies, one at a time, in the egg/milk mix then in the flour mix, then BACK into the egg/milk and again in the flour, then drop in the skillet–this makes for messier dipping, but a much better coating on each piece. Let cook till dark brown on one side and flip.
And that’s just about it!
Another thing I did this week was just roast a bunch of vegetables together, then made wraps with some sun-dried tomato tortillas and aioli. Simple aioli is really easy to make and is great for dipping grilled vegetables, mixing into vegetables and rice, or adding to a sandwich or wrap like this one. I don’t have my recipe in front of me (which actually came from an old issue of Bon Appetit) so this is an approximation (and I typically just mix it to taste anyway):
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed (I also like to use the diced garlic from a jar, about a teaspoon)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 C. mayonaise
Muddle the garlic and salt together, then add the mayo and lemon juice, whisking till well blended. Definitely adjust to your own taste! Some like it more salty or more garlic-y or less full of mayo, it’s totally up to you!
The vegetables I used were one Japanese eggplant, one summer squash, about a quarter of a medium sized white onion, all cut into small chunks. Then I tossed that with one fennel bulb sliced thinly, several fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper, and some olive oil (enough to coat everything but not pool in the bottom of the pan). This all fit nicely in a 9″ square glass casserole. I just roasted it at about 475 F, for around 20 minutes. I spread aioli on the tortillas first, then added the veggies and some shredded cheese (for Missouri folks, I used Legacy cheese from Heartland Creamery, which is kind of like a soft mild white cheddar). You could really use just about any combo of veggies and spices you want, but this is what I had. Two wraps were very filling, and I used leftover veggies mixed with some brown rice, topped with cheese and aioli for lunch the next day!
Finally, my lunch yesterday was a phenomenal dressed up fried egg sandwich. The fried egg sandwich has become a staple in our house since my husband, retaining it from his bachelor days, started making them when neither of us felt like cooking anything more complicated (he likes his runny though, which resulted in several yellow drips down my coat as I tried to eat one on my way to work, more than once). I made one yesterday using a whole wheat roll from our local Blackbear Bakery. First I spread some fresh chevre (goat cheese, also from Heartland Creamery) on one side and placed three fresh basil leaves on top. Then I fried the egg and added that. I topped it with some sunflower shoots and these great crispy fried onions that they use as a topping for hot dogs in Iceland but that I managed to find at our local grocery store–made for a great flavorful crunch! (*Lars is the brand, seen here, so if you can’t find it in the store you can order them online–totally worth it, I promise! They’re really yummy in salads too, especially with raisins and/or craisins for that whole sweet and savory dynamic)
I wish I had pictures of everything for you, but my husband has our good camera still and he doesn’t get home till Thursday (also a reason I haven’t done more posting about our Iceland trip, he’s got all the pictures!) I know some of these ingredients are a little unusual–I’m not really a foodie, I just get this stuff in my CSA which I love; I’m having so much fun playing around with stuff like sunflower shoots! So go raid your own local farmers’ markets, family owned grocery stores if you can find them, or your own backyard, and share some of your creations with me!