Plant It Forward

Caponata Siciliana

Caponata Siciliana

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

This sweet and sour eggplant dish originated in Sicily. It’s a beautiful dish for summer because it uses all the best vegetables of July and August – eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups diced eggplant (skin on)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced spring onion (red or yellow onion can also work)
  • 1½ cup seeded and diced bell peppers, assorted colors
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons capers, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus more to soak raisins
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped pitted black olives
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large, deep skillet or fry pan, heat extra virgin olive oil (should be enough oil to reach a ¼ inch up the side of the pan). When the oil is hot, cook the eggplant in batches until browned all over; drain on paper towels.
  2. Place the ¼ cup olive oil in a medium skillet along with the onion, peppers, and celery. Set over heat and sauté until the vegetables are wilted and beginning to color at the edges, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes, thyme, and capers, and season with a little salt and black pepper.
  4. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook to reduce.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked eggplant, raisins, olives, pine nuts, basil, and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Cook 5 minutes to marry the flavors. The eggplant and celery should be tender but still firm. Taste again for salt and black pepper.

Notes

Caponata can be served warm, but it is traditionally served at room temperature. It’s even better the day after it’s made, when the flavors have had time to mingle and develop. Served it on toasted bread bruschetta, or as a side dish for grilled fish or meats

http://plant-it-forward.org/caponata-siciliana/

VERMICELLI NOODLE SALAD with SHAVED VEGETABLES AND MISO GINGER DRESSING

VERMICELLI NOODLE SALAD with SHAVED VEGETABLES AND MISO GINGER DRESSING

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6 - 8

Recipe from CulinaryCorps Chef Rusty Obra.

This recipe was based off a Filipino noodle dish that my mom prepared for special occasions and family gatherings called Pancit. It is a vegetable heavy side dish that is served to counter the meat heavy dishes normally on the table. When I first saw the beautiful produce, my mind immediately went this direction to prepare and share for you. Any vegetables can be used but some were blanched and shocked in ice water to keep its color and crunch!

Ingredients

  • 1 8oz package Rice Vermicelli Noodles
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Radishes, assorted varieties and trimmed
  • 1 cup Confetti Tomatoes
  • 4 Mini Bell Peppers (any color will do)
  • ½ cup Snow Peas, trimmed
  • ½ cup Green Beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup Purple Green Beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • For the Miso Ginger Dressing:
  • ¼ cup Purple Basil Leaves
  • ¼ cup Mint Leaves
  • 1 bunch Parsley Leaves
  • ½ cup Raw Peanuts
  • 2 Chiles, seeded and deveined
  • 3 tbsp Ginger, grated
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 tbsp Miso Paste
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. For the Noodles: a) In a large stock pot, fill it about ¾ of the way with water and bring to a rolling boil. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Take the noodles out of the package and place in the boiling water. Immediately shut off the heat and allow to soak for about 10 minutes. Drain well in a colander and place in a mixing bowl. Add about ½ of the miso ginger dressing and toss to coat. Allow to cool in the dressing. b) Have three bowls of ice water handy. c) Peel the carrots with a peeler and shave them into long strands using the peeler. Place into the first bowl of ice water to allow to crispen up. Using a mandolin, thinly shave the radishes and add to the first bowl of ice water. Reserve. d) Slice the bell peppers into thin rounds and set aside. e) Pick off any stems from the tomatoes and cut in half if needed. If they are really small, you can leave them whole. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Reserve. f) Bring another pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. g) Add the snow peas to the water and blanch for 30 seconds and immediately shock into the second bowl of ice water. After it chills, take it out and pat dry. Cut into thin strips and reserve. h) Repeat blanching each of the beans in the same water, cooking for 30 seconds and shocking them. Allow to cool completely. Take out and pat dry.
  2. For the Miso Ginger Dressing: a) Combine all the herb leaves into a small bowl and set aside. b) In a dry saute pan over medium heat, lightly toast the peanuts until browned. Reserve and set aside. c) In a blender, place the chiles, ginger, garlic cloves, miso paste, lemon juice and 2/3 of the reserved toasted peanuts. Blend to a rough paste. Add the herbs and about ¼ cup of the olive oil to the paste. Blend until it starts to be smooth. Gradually drizzle in the remaining olive oil to form a dressing. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. For Assembly: a) Take the noodles out of the bowl and arrange on a pile on a platter. b) Combine all the vegetables in the bowl and gently toss with half of the remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over the noodles. c) Garnish with the remaining 1/3 of the toasted peanuts and drizzle any remaining dressing you may have.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

Difficulty: 2; Special Equipment: Mandoline, Peeler, Blender

http://plant-it-forward.org/vermicelli-noodle-salad-with-shaved-vegetables-and-miso-ginger-dressing/

Eggplant and Onion Salad

Eggplant and Onion Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 shallots, chopped finely
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1 lb. bag eggplant, eggplant cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai green curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 4 oz. block creamed coconut chopped, or buy Goya canned cream of coconut
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. /2 ½ cups arugula leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat half the oil in a wok or large skillet and cook all the onions together for 1-2 minutes, until just softened but not browned. Lift out and set aside. Cook the eggplant cubes, in batches if necessary, adding more oil as needed, until they are crisp and golden brown. Return the onions to the wok and add the curry paste, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the creamed coconut and water and cook until dissolved. Stir in most of the cilantro, the basil, and the parsley. Toss the arugula in the sweet chili sauce and serve with the eggplant and onion salad. Garnish with the remaining herbs.
  2. Recipe from: Perfect Thai Cookbook.
http://plant-it-forward.org/eggplant-and-onion-salad/

Battered and fried Flying Saucer Squash

Battered and fried Flying Saucer Squash

Ingredients

  • Wet ingredients for batter:
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Dry ingredients for batter:
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • ½ tsp. red pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut squash into slices. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Mix dry ingredients in a plastic bag. Put the squash slicesin the bowl to coat in the batter, toss the squash slices into the bag of dry ingredients to coat. Put enoughvegetable into a fry in pan to just cover the squash slices and fry until golden brown.
  2. http://themarketladyblog.com/2011/10/12/patty-pan-squash-recipe-video/
http://plant-it-forward.org/battered-and-fried-flying-saucer-squash/

Walnut-Parsley or Walnut-Celery Pesto

Walnut-Parsley or Walnut-Celery Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley or celery leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse parsley or celery, walnuts, garlic, Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream and process until a paste forms. Season pesto with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Serve with grilled meat or vegetables or toss with pasta.
http://plant-it-forward.org/walnut-parsley-or-walnut-celery-pesto/

Eggplant Chips

Eggplant Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/8 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley and basil,
  • chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano salt and
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If the eggplant slices are large, cut them in half again and lay them on a baking sheet. In a small bowl combine crumbs, Romano cheese, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over eggplant and drizzle with oil. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until crispy.
http://plant-it-forward.org/eggplant-chips/