Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zuzu Ghanoush (Baba Ghanoush with Zucchini!)

Overabundance of zucchini? Try "Zuzu" Ghanoush, it uses THREE medium to large zucchinis!  That's better than zucchini bread which only uses like one zucchini, sigh.  If you have too many eggplants, of course you can use one large or two medium eggplant instead!

Zuzu Ghanoush

This is my absolute favorite recipe for Zuzu (or Baba!) Ghanoush.  It is smoky, tangy, and just the right amount of garlicky. Thanks to our friends A&A for their patient explanation of technique and baba recipe structure last summer!  My husband thought of making it using zucchini since we had so much, and I'm so glad he did! If you want to make Baba ghanoush, substitute one very large or two medium eggplants for the zucchini.
You can double this recipe easily if you like.  

3 Medium Zucchinis (about 8 inches long) charred on the grill or in the oven
1/2 cup best Tahini *
*This time I used a brand called "Beirut" and is imported from Lebanon.  Got it from a local Middle Eastern restaurant with an attached store, it is what they use in their hummus and ghanoush.  I've had success with many Tahinis, but the better the Tahini, the better the ghanoush!*
Juice of 2-3 Lemons (yup, it's a lot of lemon juice!)
1-2 tsp Kosher salt
2 Tbs to 1/4 cup ice water (depending on how thick your Tahini is)
2 cloves of garlic

You need a hot fire in your grill or a hot oven (your house will get smokey, so I suggest using the grill, but you can bake it in a hot oven right on the rack, cover the bottom of your oven with foil to catch juices!)  Choose your weapon!  Poke your zucchini (or eggplant) with a few holes and grill, turning occasionally, until black on all sides and very, very soft in the middle.  

Let cool then scoop the flesh out and drain it in a colander.  For zucchini, we found you could easily just peel off the skin rather than "scooping" out the flesh.  For eggplant, you definitely want to scoop.  Allow some of the grilled "char" or black parts make it into the mix as it adds a delightful smokiness that is unmatched!

While the zucchini is draining in the colander, take out a big bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, add your lemon juice, tahini, salt and garlic and process (or whisk) adding the ice water gradually until your mixture is runny and not too thick.  This will depend largely on the kind of tahini you use, some are thicker than others.  The tahini will turn lighter in color, almost white.  

Now, chop your zucchini into a baby-food like texture and add it to the mixing bowl or food processor.  Pulse or whisk until well combined, but not totally smooth.  Taste for salt and lemon, add more if needed.  

Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.  It only lasts about 24 hours in my house, but I'm sure it will last for several days if no one is home to eat it!

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh pita bread, olives, cilantro salad (yummmmm!), or in wraps, sandwiches, on bagels, or whatever you like.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pepita Beet Spread and Sweet Corn Ice Cream (!)

So, from our box this week came the following:

Gorgeous Pepita Beet Spread (recipe below!) as a boost to this gorg salad (tomatoes are local but not CSA, yet!).

 Grillin' up the CSA bounty.

 Swiss Chard (as usual! 6th week in a row!), Beets & Greens (3) but 5th week in a row!), fresh onions (5), fresh corn (yes! 6 ears), fresh garlic (one clove, yes!), zucchini (4) and cucumbers (2), scallions (yes!) and 4 tomatoes are from my garden.

 Israeli Couscous with CSA Zucchini, Onions, and Organic Homemade Chickpeas.

 Yeah, I'm at it AGAIN with the ice cream maker!  FRESH CORN ICE CREAM!!
 Library Style.  
Sweet Corn Ice Cream (from Hannah's Book Vegan A La Mode) made with local, Organic CSA Corn. This ice cream is totally amazing (and our corn was amazing, so use local, organic corn if you make it). It is probably the most unusual and surprising ice cream I have had in years, and it is delicious. Texture and taste is right on the money.

Garnished with Half-Sharp Paprika (which is quite hot and spicy if you ask me). Delish!!

Onto the Pepita Beet Spread!

Pepita Beet Spread...

The perfected recipe is now forthcoming in Soy Not Oi 2!
I'm so thrilled to be a part of SNO II!  

If you don't already have it, the original Soy Not Oi is the classic, vegan anarchist cookbook.  Check out the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I made from it!  They are SO good.

As soon as Soy Not Oi 2 has a link for purchase, I'll put it up.  I can't wait to see what else is in there!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Peanut Butter Bombshell Ice Cream!

Oh MY.

Peanut Butter Bombshell Ice Cream

This is Hannah Kaminsky's recipe from Vegan A La Mode, the dream vegan ice cream cookbook I've been waiting for since I started making vegan desserts.  Seriously, the recipes are astonishing, the photos crisp, clean and gorgeous, and it's BIG, providing hundreds of innovative ice cream recipes of all genres.  
It's a STEAL at about $12 on amazon, but since I won Hannah's giveaway in April (yeay!!) it was free for me! Thanks, Hannah! 

Hannah gave me permission to blog the recipe, thus sharing a little taste of heaven with you guys.  This recipe tastes as creamy, rich and decadent as the most premium dairy ice creams. Thanks, Hannah! 

PB Bombshell Ice Cream

1 Cup Creamy PB 
*Trader Joe's for me!They have a great organic one, too, made from Valencia peanuts*
1/3 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
                          1/3 cup White Sugar I used 2/3 c. for a little added sweetness
2 cups Non-Dairy Milk (unsweetened almond or full-fat soy)
OR, what I used: 1 can of Organic Coconut Milk OR combo of both
(Combo would be like 1/2 can coconut milk + 1 cup soy or almond milk, etc.)
1 Tablespoon of Cornstarch 
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 ounces finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I used Sharffen Berger 62%) or
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts (kiddo doesn't like nuts in things, so none for us) and
Hannah calls for 10 chopped sandwich cookies, which would be great, but I didn't have any.

Note: You guys know I try to use organic ingredients whenever possible, so mine was made with organic PB (TJ's Organic Valencia PB), and organic sugars (TJ's organic white & brown), and organic coconut milk (Native Forest, which is also BPA free).  Only things not organic were the cornstarch, salt and chocolate.

In a medium saucepan, whisk peanut butter through salt and heat over medium heat until bubble begin to break on the surface and the liquid is thickened.  Whisk and scrape sides & bottom of pan frequently until the mixture comes up to temperature.  Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature (stirring every so often to quicken the cooling if you want).  Chill in the fridge for at least three hours.  Then churn in your ice cream maker following the directions of your particular machine.  Add cookies or chopped chocolate or nuts in the last few minutes of churning to incorporate.  Also, I add my vanilla at the very end because when I have added it at the beginning, I have had it totally prevent my ice cream from freezing (it's the alcohol, but alcohol-free vanilla tastes yucky to me, so just add it at the very end or skip it altogether).  Transfer to an airtight container, tupperware, etc. and freeze in the freezer for about three hours or until solid.  If you used coconut milk it will be VERY firm, so I take mine out and let it sit on the counter for about ten minutes before scooping.


My husband wants me to make this into an ice cream pie :-)

Stay cool, everyone, gonna be hot for a while longer.  Gonna run out and check my zucchini now.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quick Box Six: Produce & Plates

Here's my last box (Box #6) from Tues. July 3rd, 2012:

Honey Brook Farm's Local & Organic: Zucchini (3), Cucumbers (5), Fresh Onions (3), Fresh Garlic (2), Swiss Chard (of course! Five weeks in a ROW of SwC), Beets (four weeks in a ROW of beets!), and four heads of lettuce (22 heads in 6 weeks!).

More lettuce, gorgeous! This brings our lettuce total to 22 heads in 6 weeks!

First of the fresh garlic, and BOY, is it ever good (you'll see in a little bit how I've been using it!).

 The 4th of July is our Wedding Anniversary :-).

Now, you are wondering, what did I do with the haul?  HERE'S WHAT!
 OH YES.  A(n almost) totally CSA Organic Lettuce (of course!), Cucumbers, Fresh Red Onion, Garlic Scapes, and Organic Blueberries (non-CSA) and a nice serving of Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta.

But, that wasn't good enough for me!

Bam!  Homemade Organic Chickpeas, a CSA Garlic Viniagrette AND, the most exquisite, "Pink Sauce," so named by my son.  It's my Organic Pepita Beet Spread, and it was AMAZING.

For dessert:
S'Mores Bars, YUM.  

Don't forget to freeze them! They last forever that way!

And, I made some Rosemary Lavender Vinegar.  I am sort of on a kick making Cold Brews.  I made another round of cold brewed coffee, too, using Starbucks French Roast. I think I liked the Cafe Bustelo one better, though.  Both were great.  Anyway.

I want to spray my garbage can with this.  So bad.  Oh yeah.

And, some gardening to end it up:
My tomatoes hybridized on their own!  Weird tomatoes.  Delish, though.

Screamosaurus proudly displaying my strange hybrid.

My next CSA box is coming tomorrow, Wed. July 11th, 2012!

What have you guys been making, brewing or growing? Mold doesn't count.  Unless it's in cheese.  Cashew Cheese.  Or tempeh.  Homemade Tempeh!  P.S. you can pretty easily maintain 88-90 degrees in this heat in a covered box, just use a thermometer to check it, I'm sure it would be OK.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Two Cold Brews!

Two Cold Brews:
Lavender Vinegar and Cold Brewed Coffee

First, the vinegar.  So easy.  So many uses.  Just add lavender flowers (freshly cut from your neighbor's lovely lavender plant) to a jar, cover with white vinegar, seal (put plastic wrap between the lid and the open jar to discourage yucky metallic odor/taste) store in a dark cabinet, shake occasionally and wait.  You could use rosemary, too.  
 By day.

By night.

Now, the coffee. Also easy.
Thanks to The Pioneer Woman  for her lovely post that motivated me to give it a try.
Here's my effort:

Pour about six quarts of water over the pound of coffee and stir well.  Let sit 8 hours to overnight.

 Naked strainer.


 Strain well, use a few layers of cheesecloth in addition to the fine metal strainer.  Afterwards, you can rinse the cheesecloth and re-use many times over.
If you don't know what to do with this, I can't help you :-)

This is (going to be iced) coffee. Cold brewing yields a lighter strength brew than hot brewing, so don't expect the same concentration, but you can tweak to your liking (brew longer, with more coffee, etc.).  Iced coffee made this way lasts up to thirty days (but not in my house!) in the refrigerator.  Serve over ice with organic soy creamer, almond milk, agave, or whatever you enjoy in your coffee.

Stay cool, everyone!