What a great day: A friend's garden is in overdrive, so she shared the bounty with me.
Fresh, crisp red sail lettuces on the cusp of bolting.
Small, purple-perfect eggplants.
A cup of tiny raspberries.
Green pepper, large and small, sweet bell and a jalapeno-scotch bonnet mix.
And in the fridge from the City Market yesterday:
A local smoked trout, a cucumber, some shallots.
On hand: Always mustard. Always a lemon. Always extra-virgin olive oil. Always Celtic sea salt. Always pepper. And an open jar of tahini.
So I made a great salad with the lettuces, cucumber, raspberries and the trout, and dressed it with a vinaigrette of EVOO, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and shallots, then sprinkled it with the Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper.
With the eggplant, tahini and lemon juice, I made baba ghanoush.
adapted from "Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook" (Norton, 1985, 728 pages)
1 large eggplant (about 2 pounds)
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
(if you want a more intensively lemon-flavored dip, add a slice of preserved lemon)
1 large clove garlic
¼ cup onion or shallots, chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Take the green top off the eggplant, cut it in half and slice it into 1-inch half rounds. Salt with kosher salt and let stand for 45 minutes to an hour. Wipe off the moisture and the salt. Place eggplant slices on oiled cookie sheet.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
When cooled, remove the flesh from the eggplant, discarding skin (and seeds, if you want it very smooth. I kind of like the seeds).
Blend ingredients 3-5 in a food processor. Add eggplant. Pulse until well-blended.
Transfer to a small bowl and garnish with parsley. Cover and chill. Serve with pita quarters, or as a dip with vegetables.