Thursday, July 23, 2009

Garden Eggplant

Last night I harvested our first-ever garden eggplant! I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I threw together a summery pasta sauce. I like saucy pasta dishes and this is a thick, chunky delicious sauce that is simple to make, full of healthy vegetables, and would be great on any kind of pasta.
Spicy Summer Pasta Sauce
Enough for a very saucy 1 lb. of pasta.

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium eggplant
1 bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 small zucchini or summer squash
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
splash (or glug) red wine
dried red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped herbs (I used Italian parsley and basil from the garden)
s&p to taste
parmesan cheese

Chop vegetables into small chunks (whatever size you prefer).
Heat oil in large saucepan and add eggplant. Saute and stir eggplant over medium-high heat until browned and soft. Add pepper, onion, zucchini and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Add tomatoes/sauce, water, wine and red pepper flakes and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
When ready to serve, season with s&p and stir in herbs.
Toss sauce with pasta and parmesan cheese and serve.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I was in Panama!

Well, I have to apologize for being MIA, but I have a good excuse - I was in Panama! Sister and I went on a whirlwind adventure which included (in no particular order): exploring Panama City, snorkeling in a thunderstorm, eating coconuts on the beach, 2 earthquakes, sunbathing, and lots of good old sisterly bonding time.
I must say I wasn't impressed by the culinary offerings in Panama, especially for non meat-eaters like me and Sister. I will say that we enjoyed some fabulous fresh fruit (mangoes, pineapple, coconut), awesome habanero hot sauces, and best of all we were introduced to the amazing raspado.

Raspados (shaved ice) sellers abound throughout Panama City, especially in Casco Viejo, the old city. Ice is hand-shaved and topped with fruit syrup and either malted milk powder or sweetened condensed milk. The passion fruit version Sister and I enjoyed on a hot sticky day was heavenly (as evidenced by the photo below).