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July COTM:(Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) VEGETABLES

Please post all recipes from this chapter here. Be sure to indicate the page number.

Bone Appeteee!

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  1. Wednesday dinner:
    Sauteed Mushrooms with Spinach, pg. 390
    Very simple, very tasty, except I thought it was a little too salty... OTOH perhaps that was the fault of the cook.....
    Sautee sliced mushrooms, add spinach, cook till tender. See I told you so.
    Calls for 4 Tblspns butter but I used 2T butter and 2T EVOO.

    Served this with Chicken Scarpariello: Thighs, spicy sausages, hot cherry peppers, and other goodly ingredients... YUMMO. Oops, Sorry.

    1. Warm Green Bean Salad(s) p. 149.

      My husband loves green bean more than all other vegetables, something I really don't get, but I always try to find new ways to serve them. This sounded simple so I figured it was worth a try - and it definitely was. Cook the beans in salted boiling water, drain on a paper towel, then while still warm add olive oil. When ready to serve toss with lemon juice and fresh herbs (I used basil, one of the one she suggets). I served them with scallops roasted with aioli, and it was a wonderful meal. I'd definitely make this again - easy and quick (aside from cleaning/snipping the beans) and very flavorful.

      10 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        > aside from cleaning/snipping the beans

        This may seem obvious, but for many years I used to top & tail the beans one at a time, very tedious. Then one day I hit on the idea of doing handfuls of beans on the cutting board with a knife. I butt them up against the knife to get the ends even, then cut them off. True, I might cut off a bit more than I would doing them one at a time, but it's so much faster!

        And yes, I love green beans served that way. Sometimes I just use a little lemon olive oil, no lemon juice.

        1. re: Karen_Schaffer

          See, now THAT is the kind of thing that is really helpful. Never in a million years would have occured to me to do that. Will do it the next time I have green beans (although to be honest, with so many other vegetables in the world, how often would one choose to make ... green beans??).

          1. re: LulusMom

            I cut them that way too - makes it so very much faster to prepare them. Green beans are also nice tossed with olive oil, a little lemon juice, diced & sauteed red peppers and some toasted pine nuts.

            1. re: MMRuth

              My husband is going to thank all of you for your helpful green bean tips (especially the cutting thing).

            2. re: LulusMom

              Happy to have helped!

              I wasn't very enthusiastic about green beans until I grew them myself. What a difference in flavor! If you have any room for a garden, try growing some green beans and you may find them much more interesting. Pole beans are best because they'll keep producing all season long. I particularly like Kwintus and Smeraldo for their great flavor and productivity.



            3. re: Karen_Schaffer

              I don't de-tail them... just like you, though, I do use the knife & cutting board to cut the stem end off.

            4. re: LulusMom

              You could also try adding some shallots to a simple vinaigrette dressing and adding cherry tomatoes to the green beans for another great side dish that I really enjoy and I'm sure your hubby will too!

              1. re: greedygirl

                I make this exact dish -- green beans w/ shallot vinaigrette and halved grape or cherry tomatoes -- from Alice Waters' Vegetables cookbook.
                It is handy because it can be served at room temp. Alice advises to spread out blanched green beans on kitchen towel, and adding to vinaigrette and tomatoes just before serving so acid doesn't discolor beans. Yum!

                1. re: NYchowcook

                  Mines from a book which I love called Divertimenti. It's a really nice way to serve green beans.

                2. re: greedygirl

                  Do you serve those beans warm, too? Or room temp?

              2. Peperonata (p.404)
                I haven't made this recipe yet this summer, because the peppers aren't in season yet, but I made it many many times for the past few summers, it's probably my most stained page in the cookbook. It's a very simple recipe, just basically onions and garlic softened, and then sauteed with any combination of peppers and some tomatoes. It's a great way to use peppers and toamtoes in the summer, makes a great topping for bruschetta, is delicious stirred into pasta, and is great just spooned onto good bread.

                One change that I make in the recipe, though, is to slice the onions into strips, instead of dice them, I like the texture and the look better that way.

                1. Fingerlings with Slivered Garlic (p 411)

                  Delicious and simple. In a buttered shallow baking dish, cook fingerlings (sliced lengthwise in thirds or halves) with lots of slivered garlic at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Dot top with butter or drizzle with olive oil, grind on lots of salt and pepper, and toss in a few tablespoons of water. Cover with foil. After 45ish minutes, remove foil, and let potatoes continue to cook for 15 minutes until they turn golden and crispy-ish.

                  This would be a perfect easy delicious side dish. I bought fingerlings at a local farm and wanted a simple preparation to highlight their flavor I made these to add a homemade touch to Sunday lunch of sandwiches -- instead of potato chips. They're great as is, and then I tossed some good vinegar on the warm potatoes on my second helping, and that was fantastic too, more like a warm roasted potato salad.

                  1. Broiled Zucchini Stuffed with Gruyere and Feta (p.426)

                    Received summer squash in our CSA box this week, and this recipe seemed to fit the bill. After a short parboiling, centers of squash are scooped out and cooked with butter. Then cooked squash centers are mixed with eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, herbs, and flour to make the filling. Stuffed squash are then broiled.

                    We were underwhelmed by this dish. Substituted brie and iberico we had on hand for gruyere and feta, but I don't think that would have made a huge difference. The stuffing doesn't have much character and could really use a kick. Maybe prosciutto or pancetta for meat eaters? Also, the recipe says to broil the squash for 20 minutes at 6 inches, which seems like overkill. Cheese was bubbly and brown on top after only 4 minutes, so we baked a little while longer instead of broiling for the entire time.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: iandoh

                      Gruyere is a much stronger tasting cheese than brie though, and I can imagine would have made a difference. And I'm a bit confused - isn't iberico a kind of prosciutto? :-)

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        Also gruyere, having a much harder consistency, might need that longer broiling time than the brie - that might explain the big difference in your timing vs. hers, although it still seems that broiling for 20 minutes would be an awfully long time ...

                        1. re: greedygirl

                          Ah, I think you're thinking of jamon iberico. I had some queso iberico that I bought for June COTM. Description of queso iberico from cheese.com:

                          "Queso Iberico is a cheese that comes from Central Spain. It is a hard cheese made from the mixture of cow's, sheep's, and goat's milk and that is why the flavour has elements of all three. Sometimes Queso Iberico is mistaken for Manchego. The affinage usually takes from one to six months. According to its texture, it ranks among hard cheeses. It is a table cheese but could be perfectly used for grating and grilling."

                          Gruyere is not much more flavorful than iberico, but feta is certainly more flavorful than brie.

                          1. re: iandoh

                            I agree that iberico could be a fair sub for gruyere, but I think the brie for feta sub might have been your downfall. I make a variety of recipes that combine zucchini and feta. The salty tanginess of the feta really picks up zucchini's delicate (read bland) flavor.

                        2. re: iandoh

                          I made this dish tonight. Strangely, didn't see any instruction to parboil anything!

                          I only used 3 zucchini, though the recipe calls for 4. Forgot to adjust the other ingredients, but I'm not sure it mattered, and indeed, if iandoh thought the dish was bland, it may have been a good move to up the relative quantity of seasonings to zucchini. The only other major change I made is that I couldn't resist sauteeing some chopped onion in the butter before adding the zucchini flesh. It was only about 1/4 of an onion that I had languishing in the fridge. Also, I couldn't find fresh marjoram so I used dried.

                          Like iandoh, I broiled till the tops turned alarmingly brown (about 10 minutes), then baked for about 15 minutes more.

                          I actually loved this dish. It made a really good side dish for a simple spaghetti pomarola. SO gave it the big thumbs up, too. I also really like that it's relatively simple and easy, and doesn't take loads of time. Plus, I often buy zucchini and then find that I either can't think of anything good to do with it or don't like the result when I cook it. This solves that problem.

                          I've got lots of veggie friends, and I'll be eager to try this out on them!

                        3. Kale with Cannellini Beans (pg. 381)

                          I made a double batch of this because I had kale and beet greens. I also used one small can (14 oz?) of cannellini beans. Overall, I liked this a lot, but I wouldn't say I liked it more than other dishes of this type.

                          I pre-blanched the greens and saved the blanching water (per the directions) and kept in the fridge overnight. Then it became a really easy part of the meal. Saute onions, garlic, pepper flakes and rosemary, add wine and reduce until it's syrupy. Then add the beans, kale and enough cooking liquid to keep the mixture loose. I had no idea what that meant so I added about 2 cups of liquid and it was probably too much. Add some salt to taste.

                          Lastly, she also recommended that you add parmesan but I didn't have any. Instead, I followed her other recommendation of adding lemon juice to brighten up the dish. I did this and it was great. She also had a rec of adding toasted bread crumbs and this was a mistake. The bread crumbs immediately sogged up (probably because I had too much liquid) and it added nothing to the dish.

                          This made a large 4 servings.

                          1. Braised carrots (pg. 351)

                            I made an embarrassingly small amount of these. I only had about 5 small carrots and wanted to use them up. But, these were delicious.

                            I cut the carrots into thick match sticks and sauteed them with butter, salt, pepper, sugar and thyme sprigs. Add enough water to cover and simmer until the carrots are tender. Then reduce the liquid and cook until the carrots brown (this makes the pot very messy because the carrots fry themselves in the butter). Toss with parsley.

                            I really liked this and if I am unlucky (not a carrot fan) enough to get carrots in the CSA box, I would repeat this.

                            BTW, the picture shows half the serving of the carrots. C got the other half. See, really small serving.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: beetlebug

                              I made the braised carrots using carrots that had been in the crisper an undetermined amount of time. Given the iffy-ness of the carrots, I thought they might be tasteless, but they were delicious! I cut them into thick coins. I didn't have the messy problem for some reason, probably because I caught them at the right moment. I will make these again.

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                Carrots, carrots you say.... where?? JK
                                I actually have this recipe on my week-end plan. Now I don't know whether to cut them in rounds as Kiyah notes above or your matchsticks... Why must there always be such decisions?

                                1. re: beetlebug

                                  I made these again with a big bunch of carrots and they were just as delicious the second time around. This time, I cut them in the rounds. The cooking method really brings out the sweetness of the carrots without being over the top.

                                  I think I like the round shape better than the sticks. More satisfying somehow. Or, maybe it's because I had more carrots then last time. This recipe (along with Flex's cumin lime juice carrots) could make a carrot convert out of me.

                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                    I LOVE the braised carrot recipe. Variations on this have become a staple in our house for Thanksgiving.

                                  2. Recipes that I've made in the past and really liked:

                                    p. 339 Five-Minute Beets

                                    Grate 1 lb peeled raw beets. I'm sorry to say, but I think hand grating gives a better texture for this dish than using the food processor. Still, it doesn't take that long. But don't wear good clothes! Saute the beets in 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper. Add 1/4 c water, cover and cook until shreds are tender, 5-10 minutes. Remove cover, boil off excess water, if any, and season with lemon juice or vinegar as desired, along with 2 tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, dill, etc. I favor tarragon).

                                    386 Leeks Simmered in Wine
                                    She calls for 1" diameter leeks, but I've used any size. Cook cleaned and sliced leeks in 2 tbsp butter until colored. Add 1/2 c white wine and reduce by half. Add 2 c water, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 bay leaves, 6 parsley springs, 3 thyme sprigs, 1/2 tsp peppercorns (I don't tie them, just pick them out afterwards). Partially cover and simmer until leeks are tender, 10-20 min. Remove leeks and reduce liquid until it's syrupy. Strain or pull out aromatics, pour over leeks, and garnish with chopped herbs (chervil, tarragon, or parsley). Delicious!

                                    436 Rutabaga Fries
                                    Surprisingly tasty! Slice rutabagas into French fry lengths. Soak in water for 30 minutes, drain & dry. Toss with olive oil and salt. Roast at 400 for 30-40 min, turning occasionally. Can be eaten as is or sprinkled with chopped rosemary, coarse salt, and pepper.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                      Pureed Turnips with Leeks. p436 (i think)

                                      I loved this simple dish. Cook leeks, turnip, and small potato in water or milk, then season, add a little butter and mash. You can add heavy cream, buttermilk and or cheese. I added a little butter and nothing else. It was great. The first turnip dish I have really enjoyed. The turnips were small and fresh and I don't know if that helped.

                                    2. Sweet and Sour Eggplant (p. 111)

                                      This is a Middle Eastern/Greek-style of sweet and sour, not an Asian style. I also have made this before, but not for several years. It is as delightful as I remember it.

                                      I did make a few changes. The tomatoes aren't showing up at the market yet (spring was cold and wet and long), so I substituted a can of Muir Glen diced tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes Madison calls for. Also, I added 2 Tbsp of honey (I used a mild local Indiana honey)--thought I might need the extra, given that I used a strongly flavorful sherry vinegar for the acid. And I got to use my homegrown mint.

                                      I do like the mixture of flavors. This would make an interesting filling for an unusual vegetarian hoagie or sub or whatever you call them in your part of the world! Of course, I put most of this into a container (I;m taking this to a cookout tomorrow)--what was left I just ate with a spoon.

                                      Other notes: Madison calls for sauteing the eggplant until the strips are browned on all sides. MIne weren't browning much, so I cooked them (the requisite amount of time) until the eggplant strips were limp. She does this in a wide skillet and then calls for another wide skillet to saute the onions and to cook the rest of the ingredients. I think next time I'll just remove the eggplant to a bowl, wipe out the skillet, and then add oil to cook the onions. She also suggests cooking the onion, tomato, vinegar mixture by shaking the pan gently. This is silly for me. It's just easier to use the spoon that I've been using! I would also skip the salting-the-eggplant step next time. Frankly, I don't think I've encountered bitter eggplant in a long time.

                                      One thing confused me. The recipe calls for a red onion. At my grocery store, these are fairly large. So I diced the onion per the instructions and added it to the skillet. Her comments are "the amount of onion might be small for the skillet, but you'll need the surface area to quickly evaporate the vinegar in the next step". Sorry, but the amount of onion covered the entire skillet bottom. I wonder how wide her skillet is!

                                      In short, I would make this again. And I am sure it will be even better tomorrow.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: nofunlatte

                                        nofun: I think authors should specify the size of the onion. Onions come in tremendously varying sizes at different times of the year and even on different days at the same market. I've seen some of those gigantic red onions and they'd easily cover the area of my largest frying pan. Not the one I gave away recently, though, a humongous Calphalon number that covered two burners and was never used.

                                      2. Vegetable Stir-Fry with Fermented Black Beans, Pg. 263

                                        In peanut oil fry garlic, ginger, black beans and red pepper flakes for 1 minute. Add chopped/sliced vegetables....I used an eggplant and a large onion. Stir-fry that for 2-ish minutes then add stock, soy sauce and rice wine. Remove from wok to a platter. Mix a slurry of cornstarch and stock and simmer in wok till thickened. Pour over veggies. I used the eggplant because it had been languishing in the fridge for a few days, but like DM's other stir-frys, I think any vegetable can be used. I liked this dish very much. The fermented black beans were perfect. Curiously, I forgot to rinse them....she does not say to but we did with the Dunlop recipes and the dish was not the least bit too salty. Mr. G thought it was too oily if anything but only 2 TBSPs of peanut oil is called for. I'll be making this again using a greater mix of other vegetables.
                                        It was paired with Fuchsia Dunlop's Lamb Pilaf for Thursday night's dinner.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: Gio

                                          You've been having really good luck with the stir-fry stuff. Reading your reports is egging me on to try one. Sounds delicious.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            Oh do try a stir-fry. Having cooked with the Fuchsia Dunlop books during that COTM demystified the whole process. It's really, really easy LLM...Using the wok makes it that much more appealing and it's just a question of heating the oil, adding the aromatics then stir-frying the ingredients.

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              Erp ... I didn't buy a wok during Dunlop - just used my dutch oven (which worked beautifully). But I have my eye on a recipe called something like spicy tofu with coconut rice. Pretty sure its a stir-fry.

                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                I love my wok and they're pretty much essential for stir-fries, imho. Mine only cost a few pounds from a Chinese store and it's developed a beautiful non-stick coating over the years. Get one!

                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                  Greedygirl, I know you're right. But there comes a time when there are more kitchen accessories than there are places for those accessories. I'm dangerously close to that time.

                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                    I've reached that point already - not that it stops me!

                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                      You know you've reached the limit when you open your clothes closet and a double boiler falls out.

                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                        No, your limit is when your bath tub is full of cookware (fortunately you have a separate shower), as is your oven, and your coat closet serves as additional storage space for bags of COTM ingredients, after the special over the door baskets for same have filled up. ;-)

                                        2. Eggplant Rollatini with Fresh Mozzarella and Goat Cheese
                                          Pg. 370

                                          I actually made squash rollatini as the only eggplants in my garden that are ready are ichiban and they're much too small. Not to mention the squash seem intent on taking over my house so I thought it best to try to use some up.

                                          Other than completely changing the main ingredient =)..., I followed the recipe pretty closely. Sliced the squash thin, salted for an hour, rinsed, dried, and then baked until pliable. While they baked I made the cheese stuffing. I used slightly less goat cheese than the cup she called for. I like goat cheese but find it very strong. Also, she says if the cheese mixture seems dry, which mine did, to add some milk. I didn't have any milk so I added a little ricotta and it worked beautifully. I also upped the scallions(I'm presently addicted).

                                          Once the squash was baked to the point of being pliable it was as simple as putting the stuffing on the widest end, rolling them up, and putting them in an oiled baking dish. I did the assembly this morning and when my husband and myself arrived home this evening it was as simple as popping it in the oven, making a salad, and dinner was done in 30 minutes.

                                          I served this with the oven roasted tomato sauce that she recommends, pg 62. I made the sauce yesterday and didn't care for it much at all. I found it to be bland so I added basil, roasted garlic, scallions and several other things to taste, basically turning it into a marinara. The sauce was much better with all the additions, but when it came time for dinner tonight, I skipped the sauce on my serving, though my husband enjoyed it with his rollatini very much.

                                          I have to say I love love love this dish. I was thrilled to find a way to use produce from my own garden in a new way and the flavors were just phenomenal. I am already planning on making it again, or at least borrowing the method with the zucchini that's in, and probably doing a mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, and basil stuffing. Basically I think everyone should make it, swoon, and then make it again =)

                                          The pics aren't that good as I was too busy salivating and restraining my husband to worry about the camera too much. As you can see the filling kind of oozes when it bakes, but I didn't find it to be a bad thing. I do need to roll them a bit more tightly next time.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ArikaDawn

                                            Oh my goodness AD - that looks so cute. Now that you have reduced this dish to it's least common denominator I feel comfortable trying it with anything that will roll. Specifically zucchini, as you mentioned. Many thanks!

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              You'll definitely have to report back on whatever combinations you try. I was definitely in a rut, always just sauteeing zucchini, squash, and the like. I can't wait to continue playing around with this recipe.

                                              Oh, and I accidentally deleted the photos from my original post. Woops!

                                            2. re: ArikaDawn

                                              I'm salivating looking at that last picture with the cheese oozing out! And they're so pretty made with the gold zucchini. Very inspirational.

                                            3. Lemon Vinaigrette, Pg. 184
                                              Tonight, to accompany a Montreal marinated turkey breast and purple string beans I made this dressing to augment cooked broccoli left over from a few nights ago.. Very simple, very tasty and could very easily accompany anything your brain can conjure up..

                                              Lemon zest & juice, minced shallot, left to meld for 15 minutes, then turned into the broccoli with the addition of salt & pepper. A Lot of S & P.... and I refrained from adding red pepper flakes, even though I wanted to. :-) What a good girl am I.

                                              2 Replies
                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                  OOPS!!! EVOO along with the lemon and shallot!! Thanx. <-[

                                              1. Baba Ghanoush p. 96.

                                                This is pretty much like other recipes for the always tasty baba ghanoush. I had one eggplant and a small amount of tahini from a jar I purchased ages ago, so it seemed like a good thing to make.

                                                I am here to tell you, by the way, that tahini keeps a long time in the refrigerator. Mine smelled fine and it was fine.

                                                Anyway, you roast the eggplant, peel it and blitz it with tahini, garlic and lemon juice. I'm sure it would be better if I had access to an open fire for that smoky flavor. But it's still good.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: NYCkaren

                                                  I will add that tahini keeps for a long time outside the fridge too. I keep it for months and it's still fine.

                                                2. Braised Red Radishes, Pg. 416

                                                  A rather mild-mannered presentation of fresh from the farm beauties...
                                                  20 plump radishes, 2 Tbspns butter, 1 diced shallot, 1 tspn chopped thyme and S & P.
                                                  I trimmed the leaves but left a bit of stem as DM suggests. The shallot and thyme cooks for a minute in a small pan and then the radishes are added. She says to halve and quarter the larger radishes and leave the smaller ones whole which I did, however, in retrospect I would have prefered them sliced thickly. They are cooked for about 5 minutes then removed from the pan. A bit more butter is added, if desired, and the sauce is reduced to 1/4 cup. This is then poured over the radishes.

                                                  DH graded the dish a C+, I gave it B-. The radishes were fresh from a local farm and were lucious but the finished dish didn't reflect this. I might just make this recipe again with a bunch of dark purple and white radishes just to compare. I remember that white radishes are more peppery. We'll see.

                                                  I made it last night and served it with Jacques Pepin's eggplant and zucchini gratin which I described in the Unused Cookbook thread.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    If you still have Flexitarian Table lying around, I'd suggest trying his recipe for braised radishes. I just loved it.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      Re: Flex radishes (and don't forget their leaves as well) braised with vinegar, butter and brown sugar. This was a major discovery for me, and has become one of my favorites.

                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                        That's right - it was your early review that got me to try them. They're wonderful.

                                                  2. Braised Fennel with Diced Vegetables (pg. 375)

                                                    This was ok. A solid C-. I don't think it was worth the effort of chopping all the veggies (carrot, onion, celery) along with the fennel. The recipe didn't quite work either.

                                                    The recipe says to saute the veggies and herbs (bay leave and thyme), push them to the side and then add the fennel halves. Then, spoon the veggies over the fennel and pour in one cup of water. The skillet is then covered and the veggies are to cook for 10-12 minutes and the water is supposed to evaporate. Well, my veggies cooked, but the water didn't evaporate. If anything, there was more water than ever since the veggies through water off. Then, you're supposed to stir and add a half cup water and cook until the fennel is brown and finished. This didn't happen either. I didn't add the additional water and the fennel didn't get brown. The fennel was actually a bit overcooked and more soggy then anything.

                                                    I used CSA fennel which was smaller then grocery store fennel. But, the main problem was that the initial water didn't evaporate so the fennel couldn't brown. Madison described that this dish is supposed to be more complex and delicious but I didn't find it so. Most of my veggies (all except the one celery rib) came from the farm so freshness wasn't the issue. The veggies, except for the fennel did have a nice flavor but it wasn't complex or anything special.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                      Don't you just hate it when you have great ingredients to start with and the recipe wimps them out.....That has happened with a few that I've made. Leaves me wishing there was something more to it. I have a few more scheduled before the end. Hope I've chosen wisely.

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Fingers crossed. I chose two clunkers in a row so I went to LOP. I do have planned one of the beet salads that another hound raved about.

                                                    2. Green Beans simmered with Tomato (pg. 337)

                                                      Another mediocre recipe. The problem is that it doesn't showcase the best of summer green beans.

                                                      First saute sliced onions, then add garlic, green beans, a large peeled, seeded tomato and water to cover the lot. This is simmered until the beans are tender, then add parsley and other herbs. The tomato is supposed to disintegrate into the water and become a sauce for the beans. This didn't quite happen. The tomato didn't really add any flavor (and these were home grown tomatoes) and it didn't become saucy.

                                                      I was envisioning greek style beans with tomatoes and this was a huge disappointment. You can see in the picture how there is no redness to the watery "sauce."

                                                      1. Eggplant Baked with Tomatoes and Feta (I think that's the name, but I don't have the book in front of me!).

                                                        What you do is halve the eggplant lengthwise, then cut crosshatch slashes into the cut sides. Heat oil in a pan, then put the eggplant halves in cut side down, let them brown, then give them a few minutes on the other side. Remove to a baking dish where they fit somewhat snugly, with the cut sides facing up (actually she says to put them on a plate or something, and then later to put them in the baking dish. Why not cut out the extra dirty plate, I thought). Season with salt and pepper. Peel, seed, and chop tomatoes (I only chopped), then saute in the same pan with a bit more oil until it forms a thick, chunky sauce, about 5 minutes or so. Season. Crumble feta cheese over the eggplant halves, then spoon the sauce over, then sprinkle with a little oregano. Into the oven, covered, for about 40 ninutes, then uncovered for 5 minutes.

                                                        I actually had the day from hell yesterday. One of those days where it's the perfect storm of everything turning out wrong. I expected dinner to turn out the same way. Plus, I was doubtful about an eggplant-tomato recipe with no garlic or onion. I was totally ready to call for Indian takeout. But it was good. It was very good. You obviously have to be sure that the eggplant is tender, but combined with the tomatoes and the sharp zing of the feta, it was very flavorful. I served it with thick, good bread and a salad on the side. Not the most substantial dinner, but it worked perfectly after a very difficult day.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Kagey

                                                          Eggplant Rollatini, p. 370, with more info about rollatini on p. 369
                                                          I made an eggplant dish the other night, a Rollatini with Fresh Mozzarella and Goat Cheese. I subbed feta cheese for the goat cheese and mozzarella because I had no mozzarella and the goat cheese I thought I had was moldy.

                                                          The most difficult part was cutting the eggplant into 1/3" slices. She said that was very important to make them rollupable. I couldn't make ANY of the slices the correct thickness for the whole slice no matter how hard I tried. I ended up working with several partial slices overlapped and that worked fine.

                                                          The filling was feta with chopped scallions and a few pinches of thyme. You add salt and pepper - I tested the mixture after a tiny bit of salting, due to saltiness of feta, and it was fine. I mixed all the filling ingreds together and then spread it onto the patchwork of eggplants, rolling them up. I then browned them in a skillet and then transferred to a baking pan and baked at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

                                                          Served the rollatini with her Red Pepper Sauce (p. 71)

                                                          The Red Pepper Sauce is wonderful with the eggplant dish. I admit once again that I doctored it for time's sake. It calls for roasted red peppers and I didn't want to take the trouble and so used "Hot Ajvar", a jarred spread of roasted red peppers and eggplant. I followed the rest of the recipe, which includes onion, basil, marjoram, white wine, and tomato paste and puree (I just used paste). I used water instead of veg stock, white wine vinegar and a tblsp. of butter.

                                                          My husband loved this dish, and I really liked it. The sweet blandness of the softened baked eggplants mixed with the feta filling and the tang of the red pepper sauce was a terrific combo.

                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                            After that experience with cutting the eggplants, you may never want to do it again, but you reminded me of a great dish from Nigella's Forever Summer book--essentially, slices of eggplant grilled (or broiled) and then wrapped around a filling of feta, mint, chilli, and lemon. Very delicious. Sorry it's off the topic of this discussion, but thought I'd mention it.

                                                          2. re: Kagey

                                                            I too enjoy this recipe and used to make it when I have small eggplant. So glad a reread this thread.

                                                          3. Braised Chard with Cilantro, Pg. 358

                                                            Strange combination, chard and cilantro, but the finished dish was quite tasty.
                                                            Ms Madison was right when she wrote the chard would be silky and fragrant. It definitely was. We loved it!

                                                            Swiss chard leaves are washed, cut into ribbons and the stems trimmed and diced. Chopped onion, cilantro, garlic, are placed in a pot with EVOO, paprika, S & P and a little water. Cover the pot and cook for 45-ish minutes adding a little more water if necessary.

                                                            This was really a very easy dish to prep and cook. It gave me time to make a fish recipe from a cookbook based on a mystery series set in Venice I've been reading , and the remoulade sauce from Bon Appetit Y'All to go along with it. The chard was farm fresh and I thought the cilantro and paprika enhanced the simple taste of the chard.

                                                            Here's the Remoulade report: