|The salad as served on an 8" plate to company.|
umeboshi paste" listed in a recipe. It sounds so exotic and obscure. But is using umeboshi really so different from using all the other wonderful foods and condiments we've adopted from other countries? It's just another powerful flavor source that's good for your health as well as your palate. Look at all the Mexican foods like chipotle in adobo, or salsa verde, or Middle Eastern foods like felafel or tabooli. At one time they were considered exotic and strange.
The eggplant was cubed, soaked, patted dry, pan-grilled and cooled to room temperature before hitting the greens. The dressing was drizzled over all, and the salad was topped with toasted sunflower seeds. (I'm going to put in a plug for the Bob's Red Mill sunflower seeds I recently purchased. Maybe I was just lucky but these are the smallest, freshest, sweetest sunflower seeds I've ever bought. They're delicious raw or toasted and I love them.) I made enough salad for four people but the ingredients are flexible so use whatever quantities you wish. The dressing is very flavorful and goes a long way, but if you like your salad loaded with dressing or want leftovers, you can easily double the recipe.
|The salad (missing carrots) served in a big bowl to me for lunch.|
- 1/2 medium eggplant (cut the whole eggplant in half lengthwise)
- canola oil
- salad greens
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted in a pan
- 1 teaspoon umeboshi paste
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup or maple syrup or 1-1/2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon water, more if needed
- Cut two 1/2" thick steaks from the eggplant half. Cut each steak into 1/2" cubes and soak the cubes in water for 10 minutes. This is supposed to get rid of bitterness. Drain the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of oil into a cast iron (or other heavy) pan and heat. Add the eggplant and brown on one side over medium heat about five minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Remove eggplant to a plate and let cool to room temperature while you make the dressing.
- Place the umeboshi, tahini, lemon juice, sweetener and water in a small dish or measuring cup. Mix to a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more water if necessary to achieve a creamy dressing that will drizzle from a spoon. The amount of water depends on the texture of your tahini.
- Toast the sunflower seeds.
- Place the salad greens on four individual plates or bowls. Divide the eggplant into equal portions and mound in the center of the greens. Artfully arrange the carrots. Drizzle dressing over all. Top with sunflower seeds.
Day-glo bread and other misc. stuff
Here's a bread to which I added turmeric to give it a golden hue (and because it's supposed to have so many health benefits). It actually came out a lot more golden than I expected, and looks kind of weird. (I haven't photographed the inside but believe me, it's BRIGHT.) It tastes good, though. It's got rye flour in the dough for a little extra flavor, and sesame seeds on top.
cannelini beans, avocado and salad greens. My current vat of day-glo no-knead dough seems a little too wet for successful English muffin making, so I'm using it for regular loaves. The muffin above was made with the previous batch of dough, which explains its normal hue.
kablooey — a tester recipe for Celine and Joni. It is kind of like tabooli but made with buckwheat.