Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ottolenghi's Fried Eggplant, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad by Heather

I love the August issue of Bon Appetit.  There are so many great summer recipes in this edition, and it's really inspired me!  There was an article on Ottolenghi, along with some of his recipes.  If you don't know who Ottolenghi is, he's an Israeli-born chef and owns some really great restaurants in London.  Most of his ingredients center around vegetables, and his recipes are basically magic.  I don't normally follow recipes down to every detail, with but his, I do.  He knows how to bring out the best in any vegetable- especially eggplant.  That being said, I haven't altered this recipe in any way.  It's great as-is, and I encourage you to try it!

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
 ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems 
1 clove garlic, chopped 
2 small green chiles, such as Thai, seeds removed, chopped, divided 
½ cup olive oil, divided 
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more 
¾ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
2 medium eggplants (about 1½ pounds), cut into 1½” pieces
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 2 cups) (I ended up using about 4 cups because I used a large oval Dutch oven)
1 pound small tomatoes (about 8), cut into wedges 
½ pound Persian cucumbers (about 3), sliced thinly

Monday, August 18, 2014

Corn, Zucchini, and Feta Salad by Heather

I have so much zucchini and corn this week, I'm going to be serving them in everything this week!  This salad is super easy to put together and it makes a great side dish for the Mediterranean turkey burgers. This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit- their recipe calls for basil and zucchini blossoms, which I couldn't find at the grocery store this week, but they'd make a lovely addition to this salad if you can find them!

2 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed
2 zucchini, sliced into very thin medalions
1/4 block feta
1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
2 tbs. chopped chives
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 dashes red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the zucchini, working in batches on a grill pan with a drizzle of olive oil, cooking for just two minutes on medium low heat.  No need to flip them, you just want them to become a little softer.

Combine the white wine vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper into a small bowl, whisking to combine.

Add the corn, zucchini, feta, parsley, and chives into a medium bowl, then add in the dressing, a little at a time.  Toss to combine.

Mediterranean Burgers with Tzatziki by Heather

I wanted to take advantage of all the great produce that's in season this month- especially zucchini and corn.  These burgers are so light and satisfying, especially topped with this tzatziki sauce.

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients for the burger:
1 lb. ground turkey (light and dark meat)
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, chopped (light and dark green parts)
2 tsp. oregano (preferably fresh)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Tzatziki sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 large cucumber, grated and squeezed of excess liquid
2 scallions, white and light green parts only
2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
2 tbs. chopped fresh mint
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half lemon
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Garnish suggestions:
Grilled bread (I used a sourdough rosemary loaf from Whole Foods, but grilled pita would be good, too)
heirloom tomato, sliced

Combine all ingredients for the burger in a large bowl and combine with your hands until just combined.  Form into 4 patties and set aside on a plate.

Combine all ingredients for tzatziki in small bowl and set aside.

If using grilled bread, grill the bread before the turkey burgers.  Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the bread and grill on medium high heat, about 4 minutes per side, or until you see golden grill marks form.

Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a grill pan, and on medium high heat, cook the burgers for about 6 minutes on the first side, or until almost half of the burger looks cooked.  Take care to make sure the heat on the stove isn't too high so you aren't blackening the burgers.  Flip and cook for about 4.5 minutes longer, turning down the heat a little if necessary.

Serve with Garnishes and enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ratatouille by Heather

The past few days have been filled with pasta, burgers, and a day of wine tasting in Sonoma (poor me, I know).  Since it's Sunday, and we usually make a heartier meal, I wanted to make something that was roasted and warm, but still healthy, so that's where the ratatouille comes in! I had an amazing ratatouille at The Little Prince in SoHo- it came with a poached egg on top, and it added a great richness to the dish.  I'm making mine a little more rich by adding some goat cheese, too.

Of course I couldn't make ratatouille without watching Ratatouille, and I suggest you do the same!


1/2 large eggplant (I used a Chinese eggplant since it's similar in circumference to the zucchini)
3-4 Roma (plum) tomatoes
1-2 zucchini
1-2 yellow squash
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small can tomato paste or 8 oz. tomato sauce
2 sprigs rosemary
couple sprigs of thyme
2 eggs, poached (or 1 egg for each person)
goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs. white vinegar

To make this dish even more substantial you could serve the ratatouille over couscous or some rustic toasted bread.


Saute onions in large Dutch oven until nearly translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic cloves and saute two minutes more.  Add in tomato paste, incorporating ingredients; smooth out the sauce into a thin layer, covering the bottom of the pan.

Slice veggies on a mandolin about 1/16 inches thick.  I found it hard to slice the eggplant on the mandolin, so I ended up slicing it by hand.  Start by laying a piece of eggplant on the outer perimeter of the pan, then lay down a piece of yellow squash, zucchini, then tomato.  Make sure you have about a 1/4 inch gap between each slice, but no more.  Repeat this pattern, making a concentric circle towards the center of the dish.  Season with salt and pepper, and some thyme leaves.

Place the Dutch oven on a piece of parchment paper, tracing the perimeter so that you have a piece that will fit perfectly on top of the ratatouille.  If the ends of the parchment paper roll up once you've placed the parchment paper on top, crinkle the paper into a ball and then unfold once again.

Bake the ratatouille in the oven for about 45-55 minutes, or until the slices are cooked, but not falling apart.

In the last 10 minutes or so, poach the eggs.  Bring about 2 cups of water to a gentle boil, along with 2 tbs. of white vinegar (it helps the eggs stay together).  It also helps to use really fresh eggs.  Crack each egg into a ramekin first, then slide each egg in the water one at a time, swirling the water to encourage the eggs to stay together.

Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and set aside for 5 minutes.  Remove each egg with a slotted spoon, and lay over an individual serving of the ratatouille.  Add some crumbles of goat cheese, and serve!