I want to make a promise right here and right now: no more laziness. If there are any of you out there who are still reading this, I owe you a big one, because I have been a terrible poster lately. But it ends here and now. No longer will I be the “maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe next month” Drunk Squash. Nope, I’m going to make a concerted effort to get back into SOME KIND of groove. I’m going to make the food, I’m going to take those pictures, and then I’m going to write those jovial, clever, effervescent blog posts.
I find that if I announce a goal I’m more likely to follow through with it. When I decided that I was going to run a half-marathon, I told everybody I knew (you too, dear reader) so that I’d be accountable. And, lo and behold, I ran that half-marathon.
So here’s my newest goal: AT LEAST 1 Drunk Squash post per week from now until mid-December. And I know that one post a week is hardly a concerted effort to some people (I’m looking at you, hourly blog posters. If only I could be so verbose.), however, what with my thesis and education classes underway I’m just attempting to be realistic. Plus, one post a week is a lot better than what I’ve been doing lately, so get excited folks.
Anyways, I decided to turn over this new bright and shiny leaf with an old red sauce. That sounds weird, but go with it.
So I don’t know if you remember those turmeric polenta fries of yore? I wrote about them, oh, about sixty-five years ago. Or, if you’d rather scroll down, a mere two posts below this one. Isn’t that sad? I posted that recipe on September 19th. Oh well, though, let’s move into the future. Back to the polenta fries.
So I told you about those lovely polenta fries but didn’t get a chance to write about their equally enchanting and saucy partner, The Red Pepper Baba Ghanoush.
I’d never eaten or made Baba Ghanoush before, but I was intensely interested in the mushy, roastey spread. I learned that it basically consists of eggplant, olive oil, and some other stuff. The other stuff, apparently, is seasoning and other vegetables. Obviously I am not the Baba Ghanoush expert, so I would take this recipe with a grain of salt and not introduce it to your friends as a “classic Baba Ghanoush,” however, I can testify to its smokey spiciness and the pleasure it brings accompanied with polenta fries. And I’m completely positive that it would make an amazing spread inside a wrap, on top of rice or beans, mixed into quinoa, or pretty much in any other creative combo you can imagine.
Surprisingly, this Baba Ghanoush was not made with vegetables from my CSA box. As I was planning to make polenta fries, the genius idea of pairing them with a roasted red pepper sauce popped into my head and then refused to get out. And then the idea of adding eggplant attached itself to this sauce-plan. Don’t ask me why I became obsessed with this idea, sometimes my tastebuds take over my brain.
But anyway, I had neither red pepper nor eggplant, so I decided to make a trip to ye olde Farmer Joe’s. Whilst there I grabbed a spicy pepper as well to give the sauce some heat. I also grabbed a shallot because I’m obsessed with onion-breath. The total for this recipe was about three dollars I think. It definitely fit within my cheapo student budget.
Although it isn’t technically a “CSA recipe,” these were some fresh, taste-bud-pleasing vegetables. If you don’t have/can’t access a CSA program I highly recommend farmer’s markets and local grocery stores that specialize in local and organic foods. This isn’t a commercial, I’m just one of those vegetarians that really really like vegetables. This affinity is made easier by eating fresh vegetables that have all that good earth flavor on lock, and by being lucky enough to have ACCESS to that good food. (Urban farms are also great for those who have low budgets or difficulty with access to healthy produce-that too is a privilege!)
But anyways, instead of waxing poetic about my vegetable dreams, I’ll just give you the recipe. You should know that it’s going to be hard to start eating this without stopping. I’m just preparing you.
|Red Pepper Baba Ghanoush||
- 1 medium-sized eggplant
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 spicy pepper (serranos are good)
- 1 shallot
- olive oil
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut open bell peppers and spicy pepper, remove seeds (save spicy seeds if you want to add some kick to the spread).
- Place all peppers (skin side up) and the full, uncut eggplant on a sheet in the oven.
- Let all roast until the pepper skins have blackened and the eggplant is starting to collapse.
- Remove peppers and eggplant from oven and place inside a plastic bag.
- Close the bag and let them marinate in their own heat for ten minutes or until cool.
- Remove peppers and eggplant from bag, de-skin, and chop into chunks of appropriate size for your blender or food processor.
- Pre-chop your shallot (doesn’t have to be too precise).
- Blend or food-process the chunks of pepper, eggplant, and shallot with at least 1 tablespoon of olive oil (add more to your own liking). This would be a good time to throw in those spicy seeds, as well.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- You’re going to end up with a mushy, soft spread. It shouldn’t be runny, but also not too chunky. Use as dip or spread!
Go forth, dear readers, spread the love and devour that Baba Ghanoush!